In the wake of a Valentine's Day high school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 more injured, the White House is yet again refusing to release photos of the president signing HJ Resolution 40, which makes it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns.
@Oste18262009 @AngeMaryClaire @1998Bones @XPerspect @RobinFries2 @SenFeinstein Bill HJR-40 rescinds an Obama era la… https://t.co/S3QCoCjxyN— Carolyn 🍗 (@Carolyn 🍗) 1518720068.0
"We don't plan to release the picture at this time," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CBS news, which had made a dozen attempts to obtain a picture of Trump signing the bill into law.
No one has the single answer. This would have been a start. HJR40 - gun background checks for mentally ill. He rev… https://t.co/ivmx4uLp6r— B C Morris (@B C Morris) 1518722068.0
The president's chutzpah here is really something to behold.
Following the Parkland massacre, Trump actually had the gall to blame survivors and their families for the attack. "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" the president Tweeted Thursday morning.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavi… https://t.co/3mSYrtTng6— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1518696761.0
Trump's attempt at compassion and leadership also tanked in his address to the nation following the shooting, in which he never once mentioned guns or gun control. There were plenty of references to the default response of "thoughts and prayers," which is what elected officials like to offer instead of any meaningful action.
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are… https://t.co/LraxXxUN3D— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1518716021.0
The Parkland shooter was reported to have had mental issues, and had ties to white supremacist groups. The shooting could have been prevented had stronger background checks been in place.
BOMBSHELL! Florida Shooter Nikolas Cruz Was Reported to FBI in September https://t.co/PNZDuGlETH via @steadfastloyal— X chet hamby sr. a very proud deplorable (@X chet hamby sr. a very proud deplorable) 1518792665.0
HJR 40 reverses former President Barack Obama's policy that "directed the Social Security Administration to update the FBI’s national instant background check database with the names of disability recipients with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and severe anxiety," reported Second Nexus. The National Rifle Association lobbied heavily for HJR 40, describing Obama's policy as a “last minute, back-door gun grab" that “would have stripped law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights without due process.”
Obama pushed for tightened background checks for firearm sales following the December, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a young man killed 20 elementary school students and six teachers.