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tv   Presidential Statements After School Shootings  CSPAN  March 24, 2018 6:01am-6:36am EDT

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fishin'," and others feared our special series "in-depth" fiction edition live and 3:00 p.m. eastern on the tv on c-span2. >> next on c-span, we'll show you first statements made by presidents following mass school shootings. we will begin with bill clinton reacting to the massacre at columbine high school in littleton, colorado. he's followed by george w. bush speaking after the virginia tech shooting. then president barack obama reacting to shootings at sandy hook elementary and umpqua community college in oregon, ending with president trump speaking after the shooting at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. [applause]
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pres. clinton: thank you. you know, hillary and i look forward to this day so much every year. we want to thank you for all you do and say to america we could not run the white house without you. it happens that this day was scheduled on what has turned out to be a very sad day for america. and since, in my mind, you represent the best of american citizenship at what you do here every day as volunteers, i think it is important that we take a little time to ponder how we, as american citizens, should respond to what has occurred in colorado. first of all, i think it is important that we remember that we must come together and pray together but also commit to act together.
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in littleton, we saw and we continue to see, horror and agony. we also see in that horror and agony the ties that bring us together as a national community -- the police officers rushing toward the sound of gunfire with bravery and professionalism, the students risking their own lives for their friends, the doctors and paramedics summoning all their skills under astonishing pressure, the parents and neighbors whose love and concern sustained their children through that last long night and who will be called upon to do much more in the days and weeks to come. we see, in a moment of agony, what is best in our community and in our country.
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i have been particularly struck by the story of mrs. miller, the teacher who heard the gunfire and led dozens of students to safety in the choir room, who worked to keep them calm and quiet for hours while students removed ceiling tiles to let in more air. doubtless, we will learn more stories of quick thinking and grace under pressure as the details unfold. all of us are struggling to understand exactly what happened and why. there is a deep desire to comfort the grieving and counsel the children. we must also focus what we are going to do. in littleton, agents from the a.t.f. and f.b.i. are already on the ground providing tactical assistance to local authorities,
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. highly-trained crisis workers are ready to help people cope with their loss. fortunately, one of the most outstanding centers in the nation for this sort of work is in denver. perhaps the most important thing all of us can do right now is to reach out to each other and to families and their young children. it is very important to explain to children all over america what has happened and to reassure our own children that they are safe. we also have to take this moment once again to hammer home to all the children of america that violence is wrong. and parents should take this moment to ask what else they can do to shield our children from violent images and experiences
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that warp young perceptions and obscure the consequences of violence. to show our children by the power of our own example how to resolve conflicts peacefully, and as we learned at the white house conference on school safety, and as is reflected in the handbook that the secretary of education and the attorney general sent to all of our schools, we must all do more to recognize and look for the early warning signals that deeply troubled young people send often before they explode into violence. surely more of them can be saved and more innocent victims and tragedies can be avoided. in the days ahead, we will do all we can to see what else can be done.
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for now, when the school has apparently just been killed, bombs, and not all the children who were slain have been carried out, i think it is important on this day that we continue to offer the people of colorado, the people of littleton, the families involved the sheer knowledge that all of america cares for them and is praying for them. so i ask you to now join me in a moment of silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those who are wounded, for their families and those who love them and care for their community.
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pres. bush: our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at virginia tech today. the exact toll has not yet been confirmed, but it appears that more than 30 people were killed and many more were wounded. i have spoken with governor tim kaine and virginia tech president charles steger. i told him that laura and i and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy. i told him that my administration would do everything possible to assist with the investigation and that i pledged that we would stand ready to help local law enforcement and the local community in any way that we can during this time of sorrow. schools should be places of
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safety and sanctuary and learning. when that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every american classroom and every american community. today, our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at virginia tech. we hold the victims in our hearts. we lift them up in our prayers, and we ask a loving god to comfort those who are suffering today. thank you. pres. obama: this afternoon i spoke with governor malloy and f.b.i. director mueller. i offered governor malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear that he
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will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. we have endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years, and each time i learn the news, i react not as a president but as anybody else would, as a parent. and that was especially true today. i know there is not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays,
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graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams, so our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well. for, as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain. as a country, we have been through this too many times,
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whether it is an elementary school in newton or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. and we are going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. this evening, michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we will tell them that we love them, and we will remind each other of how deeply we love each other. there are families in connecticut that cannot do that tonight. in the hard days to come, the
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community needs us to the best as americans. i will do everything in my power as president to help. while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, we are praying for them, the memory for thosehey felt they lost endures not only in their memories, but ours. may god bless the families of the victims. in the words of scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. pres. obama: there has been another mass shooting in america. this time in a community college in oregon.
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that means there are more american families, moms, dads, children, whose lives have been changed forever. that means there is another community stunned with grief, and communities across the country forced to relieve their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared , because they know it might have been their families or their children. i have been to roseburg, oregon. there are really good people there. i would like to thank the bravery of first responders who saved lives today. federal law enforcement has been in a supporting role, and we have offered to stay and help roseburg as much and as long as they need. in the coming days, we will learn about the victims, young men and women who were studying and learning and working hard, their eyes set on the future,
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their dreams on what they could make of their lives. america will wrap everyone who is grieving with our prayers and our love. but as i said just a few months ago, and i said a few months before that, each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. it is not enough. it does not capture the heartache and grief and anger we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in america. next week or a couple months from now. we don't yet know why this individual did what he did.
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and it's fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds. regardless of what they think their motivations might be. but we are not the only country on earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people. we are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months. earlier this year, i answered a question in an interview by
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saying, "the united states of america is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient, common-sense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings. " and later that day, there was a mass shooting at a theater in lafayette, louisiana. that day. somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it -- we have become numb to this. we talked about this after columbine and blacksburg, after tucson, after newtown, after aurora, after charleston. it cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict
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harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. and what has become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. right now, i can imagine the press releases being cranked out. "we need more guns," they'll argue. "fewer gun safety laws." does anybody really believe that? there are scores of responsible gun owners in this country. they know that is not true. we know because of the polling that says a majority of americans understand we should be changing these laws, including the majority of responsible law-abiding gun owners. there is a gun for roughly every
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man, woman, and child in america. so how can you -- with a straight face -- make the argument that more guns will make us safer? we know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. the notion that gun laws do not work or make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals still get guns -- that is not borne out by the evidence. we know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. friends of ours, allies of ours -- great britain, australia -- countries like ours. so we know there are ways to prevent it.
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and of course, what is also routine is that somebody somewhere will comment and say, "obama politicized this issue." well, this is something we should politicized. it is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. i would ask news organizations -- had news organizations tally up the number of americans killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade, and the number of americans who have been killed by gun violence. and post those side-by-side on your news reports. this won't be information coming from me, it will be coming from you. we spent over $1 trillion and
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passed countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. and yet, we have a congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. how can that be? this is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in america. we collectively are answerable to those families who lose those loved ones because of our interaction. -- inaction. when americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. when americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make
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communities safer. when roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. we have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. so the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations? it doesn't make sense.
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so tonight as those of us are who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer, are thinking about the families who aren't so fortunate, i would ask the american people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. and that will require a change of politics on this issue. it will require that the american people individually, whether you are a democrat or a republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this
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cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision. if you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views. and i would particularly ask america's gun owners, who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, or protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you.
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and each time this happens, i'm going to bring this up. each time this happens, i am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we're going to have to change our laws. and this is not something i can do by myself. i've got to have a congress, and i've got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this. i hope and pray that i don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families of these circumstances. but based on my experience as president, i can't guarantee that. and that is terrible to say.
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and it can change. may god bless the memories of those who were killed today. may he bring comfort to their families and courage to the injured as they fight their way back. and may he give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change. thank you. and pres. trump: my fellow americans, today i speak to a nation in grief. yesterday, a school filled with
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innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred, and evil. around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, a great and safe community. there, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. he murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others. our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. to every parent, teacher, and
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child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you. whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. we are all joined together as one american family, and your suffering is our burden also. no child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an american school. no parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning. each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them, a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise. each one had dreams to pursue, love to give, and talents to share with the world, and each
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one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world. today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. we comfort the grieving and the wounded. and we hurt for the entire community of parkland, florida, that is now in shock and pain, and searching for answers. to law enforcement, first responders, and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger, we thank you for your courage. soon after the shooting, i spoke with governor scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of florida, and offering to assist in any way i can.
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i also spoke with florida attorney general pam bondi, and broward county sheriff scott israel. response. in these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to god's word in scripture, i heard your prayer and see your tears, i will heal you. we trust in that promise, then we hold fast to our fellow americans in their time of sorrow. i want to speak directly to america's children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused, or even scared.
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i want you to know that you are never alone, and you never will be. you have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. if you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader. answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness. we must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life that creates deep and meaningful human connections, and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors. our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting, and learn everything we can. we are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health. later this month, i will be
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meeting with the nation's governors and attorney generals. where making our safer will be our top priority. it is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we're making a difference, we must actually make that difference. in times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. these bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need. and so always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close.
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let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow. thank you, and god bless you all. thank you very much. >> c-span's "washington journal," we are getting your reaction and speaking western activists about the march for our lives rally taking place in washington, d.c. saturday. join the conversation all morning with your phone calls, emails, facebook, then tweets and be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. >> the march for our lives rally protesting school shootings is being held today in washington, d.c.
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live coverage begins at noon eastern on c-span. mark --y on open "landmark cases," we explore the story of gideon, who spent his time in jail challenging the law. the state of florida denied him an attorney. >> are you ready for trial? >> the state is ready. >> are you ready for trial? >> i'm not ready. >> do you plead guilty to this charge by reason of insanity? >> no, sir. >> wired you ready? >> i have no counsel. >> examine this case in the high court's ruling with the 43rd solicitor general of the u.s. who served during the george w. bush and administration and a partner in the kirkland and ellis law firm and a professor
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of law and local science at yale and a visiting law professor at the university of pennsylvania law school. cases," onmark c-span,, listen with the free c-span radio app and cases resources for background on each case, including the landmark to theook, a link interactive constitution, and you can download the 30 minute landmark cases podcast at or from your podcast subscriber. >> president trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill passed by the house and senate, which funds the government through september 30 rate the president had some criticism for the bill that he discussed in remarks from the white house. this is about 25 minutes.


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