The March for Our Lives, in support of gun control, took place this past weekend all across the country in major cities. Over 800 took place. While the primary one was in Washington, D.C. there was one in Florida. In order to avoid protesters in Washington, D.C. the president opted to be in Florida but that did not stop protesters from interfering with his day and work.
President Trump spent Saturday afternoon golfing on the course away from the thousands of marchers. On his way back to his Palm Beach, Florida Mar-a-Lago resort the Secret Service had to take a detour and go down a different route after clashes between Pro-Trump and Pro-March for Our Lives protesters. Over 2,000 teenagers and adults were protesting in the area and they gathered at Dreher Park when they began heading east towards the presidents Mar-a-Lago resort.
The Daily Mail reported,
“The outlet reports that Trump’s typical route from his golf club back to Mar-a-Lago goes directly past Dreher Park, which means if the president had stuck with his usual way home he would have driven past the thousands of demonstrators in Palm Beach.
The White House has not said why the president avoided the area. Trump, who usually uses Saturday mornings to make statements or outlandish remarks on issues that might be on his mind, has remained silent on the March For Our Lives events. White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters released a statement Saturday afternoon saying they ‘applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today’.
‘Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the President, which is why he urged Congress to pass the Fix NICS and STOP School Violence Acts, and re-signed them into law,’ she added. Trump boasted about the rule on Friday night online. ‘Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns,’ he wrote in a tweet.”
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
It was Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn who is the number two Republican in the Senate who proposed the bill that seeks to improve the reporting for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Which is why it is referred to as the Fix NICS bill.
While the STOP School Violence Act was proposed by another Senate Republican, Senator Orrin Hatch. The name stands for Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence. This legislation would offer money to various states to aid in detecting and reporting people who show signs of causing harm to others. In addition, it would direct appropriations towards training teachers, law enforcement officers, and students on how to deal with active shooter situations.
Both of these bills were part of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus bill, otherwise known as the budget deal. The President signed the omnibus bill into law and thereby made these two pieces of public safety legislation law as well.
President Trump has also made suggestions for the future that legislators can choose to take action on or not. President Trump proposed certain extreme risk protection orders which would allow law enforcement officers and family members the opportunity to get a legal petition of the court to remove a mentally unstable person’s gun temporarily. Moreover, this would include blocking the individual from buying new ones as well.
No comments were made by the White House though regarding the detour. President Trump’s social media page could only be seen commenting on the attack by ISIS in a southern France supermarket where three people died.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrible attack in France yesterday, and we grieve the nation’s loss. We also condemn the violent actions of the attacker and anyone who would provide him support. We are with you @EmmanuelMacron!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2018
While the President was in Florida close to 500,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. along Pennsylvania Avenue where the White House is located not too far. Survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School hosted and were joined by many different Hollywood celebrities. Some of those celebrities include donors George and Amal Clooney, Jimmy Fallon, Steven Spielberg, Ariana Grande, and Miley Cyrus.
Democrats as well expressed their support for those who were marching. Those include Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former President Barrack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Since the Parkland, Florida shooting took place there have been an increased number of discussions in regards to public safety, school safety, and gun control on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as well as at statehouses across the country. The bump-stock ban and the Fix NICS legislation are the first actions that the White House, Congress, and the Senate have taken. It is unknown whether or not further legislative action will be taken and if so what kind it would be and the short and long-term implications it would have.