During a Wednesday (Feb. 21) meeting with the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that left 17 dead (in three minutes), President Trump reportedly used cue cards to remind him to have empathy.
Associated Press photographer Carolyn Kaster caught the image of the “cheat sheet” which featured questions like “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” and “What can we do to make you feel safe?” But it was the list’s final point that caught the most attention as it simply reads, “I hear you.”
The legitimacy of the photo is hard to debate since there’s an obvious ‘45’ embroidered onto Trump’s cuff.
What a living dead-man! Trump’s “cues” to say to the high-school kids reading him and his nativist tribalistic Republican white-nationalist party the riot-act. “I hear you”. The man is like a zombie. A White Walker pic.twitter.com/NDAoDG1lY5
— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) February 21, 2018
The 71-year-old did not use any of the phrases from the cheat sheet directly and even managed to thank all of the survivors for attending on his own. “Thank you for pouring out your hearts, because the world is watching and we’re going to come up with a solution,” Trump said.
Compassion is inherently important. As the reported 19th school shooting since January, lawmakers are feeling the pressure to take a stance on gun reform. The pressure however has done little to shift the cause. As victims of the shooting looked on, Florida lawmakers voted 71-36 against the measure of banning assault rifles Tuesday (Feb. 20). On Wednesday (Feb 21), lawmakers doubled down on their allegiance to the NRA by refusing to raise the legal age to purchase a firearm.
Instead, politicians and the president have pushed for educators to carry firearms in the classroom. “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” Trump said after hearing the heart-wrenching testimonies of people who’ve endured school shootings.