- Associated Press - Thursday, February 15, 2018

Victims’ relatives and student survivors called for action while the president and congressional leaders offered condolences and condemnation of the crime. Americans with close ties to past school shootings expressed distress at how little has changed. And world leaders, Olympic athletes and TV talk show hosts reacted with horror to the slaying of 17 by a lone gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida.

Here is a sample of those voices responding to the tragedy.


“We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school.”

- President Donald Trump, addressing the nation the day after the shootings


“You’re right. I’ve been saying this since my mom was murdered at #SandyHook in 2012. So, is it finally time to talk #gunsense? I’m happy to share my experience with you to help brainstorm solutions.”

- Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, responding to Trump on Twitter


“If we do something, it should be something that works. And the struggle up to this point has been that most of the proposals that have been offered would not have prevented, not just yesterday’s tragedy, but any of those in recent history.”

- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaking on the Senate floor


“Why is your hunting hobby more important than my niece’s life? … I don’t care that Nikolas Cruz did this. If it had not been him, it would have been some other sad sick young man. I do care that he was able to legally purchase an assault weapon.”

- Abbie Youkilis, an aunt of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, who was slain in the Florida shooting, in an emailed statement


“It’s not as if nothing has been done to enforce the laws we have on the books and make sure that bad people who aren’t supposed to get guns don’t get guns. But I don’t think that means you then roll the conversation into taking away citizens’ rights.”

- U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, in an interview with radio show host Tony Katz


“My message to lawmakers in Congress is please take action. Ideas are great. Ideas are wonderful and they help you get re-elected and everything. But what’s more important is actual action. … Children will continue to die if we don’t take a stand now.”

- David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on CNN


“It cannot be denied that something dangerous and unhealthy is happening in our country. … We can and we must do better. We owe it to every one of those kids crying outside their school yesterday and all those who never made it out of that school.”

- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking to a group of sheriffs in Washington


“We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, commonsense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.”

- Former President Barack Obama on Twitter


“I had to have the exact same conversation that every parent in Broward County had to have with their children this morning. And then I had to walk and meet with him. I’m fully aware of the impact that this has on the people that live here. This is a national conversation.”

- Melisa McNeill, public defender for shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz


“Those families are going to say to me, when is enough, enough? For those saying now is not the time to talk about gun violence, … I would ask, when is the time? If now is not the right time, when is the right time? After the next shooting? Or after the one that’s going to come after that? Because these are not going to stop unless we change ourselves as a culture.”

- U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, on the Senate floor


“To say that such brutal, pointless violence is unconscionable is an understatement.”

- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, in calling for a moment of silence for the Florida victims


“The issue of school shooting, the issue of mass shootings, is such a complex issue. But the fact of the matter is we are the only developed nation that is not currently a war zone that is currently a war zone.”

- Devon Adams, who as a student fled the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in an interview with KMGH-TV in Denver


“We have mourning parents, we have people who are in really difficult circumstances, and I think we just need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers at this time. We can have conversations about other things later.”

- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking during a visit to Lebanon


“Congress has a moral responsibility to take commonsense action to prevent the daily tragedy of gun violence in communities across America. Enough is enough.”

- U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California in a statement


“We are so privileged and lucky to be doing what we are doing, and it’s so sad that 17 people died in the United States. … There’s an emotional hurt. I am overwhelmed.”

-U.S. pairs skater Alexa Scimeca-Knierim, who broke down in tears after her free skate performance with husband Chris Knierim at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea


“This is just absolutely pure evil.”

- Florida Gov. Rick Scott.


“In this moment, I am a mom of three kids that go to school and I had to talk my kids off a ledge this morning because they were afraid to go to school.”

- TV talk show host Kelly Ripa on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan”


“This tragedy is something that just cannot be swept under the rug or think about it for a few hours or a few days and then it’s gone. … Everyone has to take a long look at how we treat guns and particularly those assault rifles.”

- TV talk show host Maury Povich in a video posted to Twitter


Follow the AP’s complete coverage of the Florida school shooting here: https://apnews.com/tag/Floridaschoolshooting

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide