FLORIDA — “President Trump, please do something! Do something. Action! We need it now! These kids need safety now!”
With tears rolling down her face, Lori Alhadeff screamed into a microphone, glared into a camera, and begged the President to address the nation’s deadly gun epidemic.
Alhadeff’s 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was one of 17 people killed during Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Alhadeff’s grief was coupled with anger and a demand for answers.
“How do we allow a gunman to come into our children’s school? How do they get through security? What security is there?” she yelled. “The gunman — a crazy person — just walks right into the school, knocks down the window of my child’s door and starts shooting. Shooting her! And killing her!”
The mother’s pained words came during an interview with HLN’s Mike Galanos. In the segment, Alhadeff personalized a nightmare: burying a child.
“I just spent the last two hours putting [together] the burial arrangements for my daughter’s funeral, who’s 14!”
The debate over gun control in America has been polarizing and politicized. As it has gone on, with little resolution, school shootings have continued. Alhadeff challenged Trump to put a stop to the terror and heartbreak.
“President Trump, you say what can you do? You can stop the guns from getting into these children’s hands,” she said. “What can you do? You can do a lot! This is not fair to our families and our children [to] go to school and have to get killed!”
Alhadeff’s pleas left CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin struggling to speak.
“I’m sorry, it’s just,” started the anchor, before pausing to try to collect herself. Baldwin was hosting her “CNN Newsroom” program from on the ground in Florida, and had just watched Alhadeff along with her audience. Joined by Democratic US Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, Baldwin fought back tears, and asked her guest for assistance.
“Congressman, help me out,” she said. “Just hearing that mother, I’m sorry, it got me.”
“What that grieving mother said is the most powerful message that everyone needs to hear,” he said. “We need action. We have to do something.”
Wednesday’s shooting is at least the fourth at US middle and high schools this year.