President Donald Trump commemorated the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Thursday by touting the efforts made by his administration to improve school safety across the country, WPTV-TV and other media outlets are reporting.
In the statement released on the White House website, Trump stated that the day after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School, which claimed the lives of 17 students and staff members, the president vowed to make school safety a top priority. He added that his administration took immediate action by convening a meeting at the White House to listen as "young men and women, joined by family and friends, recounted stories of survival and heroic acts of bravery," and to remember the ones lost to "senseless violence," the statement reads.
"We took immediate action, committing ourselves to a sacred vow to do everything in our power to ensure that evil does not stalk our children on the playgrounds or in the hallways of our Nation's schools," according to the statement.
According to the Hill, the listening session held at the White House gathered a wide range of suggestions on how to prevent potential shooters from getting their hands on weapons, in addition to ideas on how to fortify schools against such incidents. The meeting resulted in the formation of the Federal Commission on School Safety, the report continued.Following the shooting, Trump also signed the STOP School Violence Act and Fix NICS Act, which yielded a Justice Department program that combats school shootings and helps ensure all criminal background information, including domestic violence records, would be accurately submitted and reviewed prior to any gun purchase, the report by the Hill highlighted.
As the WPTV-TV report highlighted, Trump ended his note by adding that he and first lady Melania are joining the nation in praying for those affected by the school shooting, which took place on Valentine's Day of 2018. Trump also took to his Twitter to mark the date and share his prayers.
"Melania and I join all Americans in praying for the continued healing of those in the Parkland community and all communities where lives have been lost to gun violence. We reaffirm the bonds of faith, family, community, and country that unite us as one Nation," Trump said in his statement.
The shooting ignited the March For Our Lives movement, a group that held a national march following the shooting to demand gun control and other measures, the Hill noted. Trump has faced criticism from liberal activists, including Parkland survivors and parents of victims, for focusing his response on mental health and security, rather than acknowledging the need for gun control, the report added.