US students stage White House protest as Trump gives nod to background bill

10:00 • 20.02.18



Dozens of teenage students lay down on the pavement in front of the White House on Monday to demand presidential action on gun control after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida.


Parent and educators joined the gathering, where protesters held their arms crossed at their chests. Two activists covered themselves with an American flag while another held a sign asking: “Am I next?”


“It’s really important to express our anger and the importance of finally trying to make a change and having gun control in America,” said Ella Fesler, a 16-year-old high school student from Alexandria, Virginia, the Guardian reports.


She added: “Every day when I say ‘bye’ to my parents, I do acknowledge the fact that I could never see my parents again.”


Meanwhile the White House said Donald Trump was supporting an effort to improve background checks on gun buyers.


The US president has been criticised for his tepid response to the shooting and his past vigorous backing of the National Rifle Association (NRA).


The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Trump had been in talks with the Republican senator John Cornyn and the Democratic senator Chris Murphy about a bill that aimed to strengthen how state and federal governments report crimes that could ban people from buying a firearm.


“The president spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bipartisan bill he and Senator Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background check legislation,” Sanders said. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system.”


Students, teachers and politicians have urged Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to act following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, to prevent a future tragedy.

 





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