Fla. survivor with NJ connections: Trump ‘a pitiful person’
PARKLAND, Florida — A Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor with New Jersey connections says thoughts and prayers aren't enough — demanding President Donald Trump and Democrats alike do more.
Student Carly Novell, 17, responded to Trump and others all weekend as he took to to Twitter to praise first-responders and criticize the FBI for missing signs of trouble in gunman Nikoklas Cruz.
After Trump said it was "very sad" the FBI didn't act on Cruz' behavior and that the error showed "they are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign," Cruz responded angrily:
"I just want something with gun control to happen whether it be assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons that aren't in the hands of civilians or something with mental health....it shouldn't be so easy to get a gun," Novell told Rosemary Church on CNN International.
Novell said that Congress won't take action and keep guns out of the hands of those who'd do harm because legislators value the right to bear arms over human life.
"They're saying that we have this Second Amendment right to bear arms and that's so important and that's what America was founded on. But I think the right to bear arms is not as important as the fact that people are dying at the hands of guns and at the hands of these people who shouldn't be able to get a gun," Novell said.
Novell said she won't stop talking about this issue without any change, and wants to keep Parkland in the spotlight.
"It's heartbreaking every time you see a shooting. All of the media flocks to it and everyone's talking about it for a solid three days and then they stop caring. And I can see it happening here. But I think the students won't let it happen here," Novell said.
Novell has said her grandfather, Charles Cohen, had a similar experience in 1949, when Howard Unruh's "Walk of Death" through Camden killed 13 people in his neighborhood.
Students around New Jersey began to make their voices on gun violence heard with a rally in Toms River. There, several — ranging in age from elementary to high school — said they wouldn't take a back seat in the gun debate any longer.
Students are also signing up to be part of a 17-minute walkout of class scheduled for the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting. It is being organized by the same group that put together the Women's March on Washington.
Plans are also in the works for New Jersey students to be part of the March For Our Lives, led by Stoneman Douglas stidents in Washington, on March 24.