Parkland Survivor Calls Trump a “Professional Liar” After NRA Speech

The president will “say anything to appease whatever crowd he’s at,” said the student

Michael Candelori, Zuma

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

A survivor of the Parkland school shooting ripped into President Donald Trump on Saturday for his speech to the National Rifle Association a day earlier, calling the president a “professional liar.”

Speaking on Friday at the NRA’s annual convention for the third time, Trump reaffirmed his loyalty to the gun lobby. “Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president,” he said.

Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, gave his reaction Saturday on CNN’s New Day. “He’s a professional liar who will say anything to appease whatever crowd he’s at,” Kasky said. “If he’s in front of families, he might say something in support of common-sense gun reform, but then when he’s at the NRA, he’ll say something to get a big cheer.” 

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who also spoke on Friday, told the NRA they support arming teachers and “good guys with guns” to stop mass shootings. The NRA frequently claims that putting more guns in schools would deter shootings like the one in Parkland, although there’s no evidence that arming civilians prevents mass shootings.

Kasky also pointed out the “hypocrisy” that firearms were not allowed in the room as Trump and Pence gave their speeches. “You’d think that if someone supported the NRA, they’d want as many ‘good guys with guns’ in the room as possible, right?” he said.

For a brief period after the Parkland shooting in February, Trump suggested he was open to new gun control measures, telling lawmakers, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.” Pressured by the Parkland survivors, lawmakers, and gun control advocates to act after the shooting killed 17 people, the White House floated a proposal to raise the minimum age for purchasing some guns to 21. But Trump eventually dropped that idea under pressure from the NRA, instead proposing other reforms, including grants for “rigorous firearms training” for teachers and improving local compliance with the National Institute Criminal Background Check System. 

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate