School Shooting Survivors Weep As Lawmakers Reject Talks On Assault Weapon Ban

Florida lawmakers have voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles like the one used to murder 17 people at a high school last week.

Survivors of the Parkland shooting had travelled 600km to Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers ahead of the vote. They watched from the gallery on Tuesday as the Florida House voted down the motion 36-71.

Sheryl Acquarola, 16, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, became overcome with emotion while watching from the gallery.

“How could they do that to us?” said survivor Emma González, 17, whose impassioned speech on gun control went viral.“#NeverAgain. We are not forgetting this come Midterm Elections – the anger that I feel right now is indescribable.”

“They’re voting to have shootings continually happen,” said survivor Noah Kaufman, 16, reported the Associated Press. “These people who voted down the bill haven’t experienced what we did. I want to say to them, ‘It could be you’.”

The bill had been assigned to three committees but was not scheduled for a hearing. This vote – which if successful, would have removed the bill from committee and allowed it to be considered by the full House – means it’s effectively dead for this session.

Meanwhile, Trump has directed the Justice Department to review the regulation of bump stocks like those used in the deadly Las Vegas shooting. It’s a modification that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, and one which helped the Las Vegas shooter murder 58 people dead and another 851 injured in 2017.

Well, it’s something.