US President Donald Trump made a shocking speech about gun laws, telling lawmakers not to be so ‘petrified’ of the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida, which killed 17 people, Mr Trump has gone against his party’s usual stance on gun control and instead, called for a ‘strong’ reform bill.
He suggested expanding background checks for gun buyers as well as raising the legal age to buy rifles to 21 from 18.
Despite previously posing the idea of arming teachers as a solution to school shootings, the President, has now come forward to say guns should be taken away from anyone who could be seen as a threat, report the BBC.
Mr Trump said: ‘Take the guns first, go through due process second’, telling lawmakers in the White House: ‘I want you to come up with a strong bill – and really strong on background checks’.
Donald Trump claimed the NRA lobby had ‘less power’ over him but held a ‘great power’ over other lawmakers.
‘We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done’ was the line Trump took, saying police should be given the power to seize guns from anyone who could pose a threat – including the mentally ill – without a court order.
He called for tighter restrictions on gun sales to young adults and background checks to be expanded for all weapons purchases including at gun shows as well as online.
It would be so beautiful to have one bill everybody can support, as opposed to – you know – 15 bills, everybody’s got their own bill.
The Republican stance on gun laws tends to see most restrictions as an infringement of the second amendment to the US constitution – the right to bear arms.
Recent comments, which have reportedly left some Republicans ‘unsettled’, were made at the hour-long summit with Democrats, who’ve been at odds with the President’s protection of the second amendment and his financial support from the NRA.
Republican senator, Ben Sasse, said in response:
We’re not ditching any constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn’t like them.
Trump was endorsed by the powerful NRA in his 2016 presidential campaign.
After a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people with a legally purchased rifle on Valentine’s Day, student Emma González sent a strong message to the President.
Emma, along with several of her peers, is spearheading the debate over gun control, which America is once again divided over.
Capturing the world’s attention with her speech, including celebrities such as Laverne Cox and Zendaya, Emma made a Twitter account to promote her cause.
This is a movement.
This is the future.
Change is now. pic.twitter.com/8yHSpq9Zac
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 24, 2018
Alongside her peers, Emma has formed the ‘March for Our Lives’ movement which will see thousands of people take part in a planned demonstration on March 24.
The group of students behind the movement are encouraging others to take to the streets and demand politicians listen to them, to prevent any further tragedies.
You can watch Emma, along with fellow organisers Cameron Kasky and Jaclyn Corin talk to Ellen DeGeneres about the movement:
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The NRA is widely condemned for its lobbying of gun rights in America – spending an estimated $3 million a year on influencing gun policy.
The Valentine’s Day massacre is the eighth deadliest mass shooting in contemporary US history and the eighteenth to take place within the confines of a school in 2018.
It’s the eighth school shooting to have resulted in death or injury in those seven weeks.
There were 345 mass shootings in America in 2017 alone.