The father of a Florida shooting victim has asserted that the American public should rally around bolstering security at schools instead of pursuing stricter gun regulations. In his view, gun control is a polarizing debate that will not result in immediate action while school security measures would gain more consensus (video below).
On Feb. 21, real estate manager Andrew Pollack gained national attention when he directly addressed U.S. President Donald Trump during a White House listening session on mass shootings. Pollack’s daughter, Meadow Pollack, was among the 17 victims killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I’m here because my daughter has no voice,” Pollack said, according to New York Daily News. “She was murdered last week and she was taken from us. Shot nine times on the third floor. We as a country failed our children. This shouldn’t happen. We go to the airport, I can’t get on a plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a school and shoot our children. It is just not right.”
Pollack added that he wanted a legislative solution that would focus on school safety instead of gun laws.
“It is not about gun laws,” the bereaved father continued. “That is another fight, another battle. Let’s fix the schools and then you guys can battle it out whatever you want. But we need our children safe.”
On Feb. 25, Pollack expressed frustration that his priorities were not being emphasized in news coverage during an interview with Fox News.
“What you are focusing on, polarizing this event, the murder of these kids,” Pollack told host Chris Wallace, citing his previous interview with GOP Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. “You are talking about gun control.”
Pollack asserted that his advocacy for school security would be a more unifying policy among the American public and accused Wallace of politicizing the mass shooting by referencing the national debate over gun laws.
“Gun control is a big issue. No one in America is going to gun together on gun control, Chris. We’re here — you didn’t say one thing about fixing it. The American people, we could get together on school safety, but when you polarize it, this event and every other media, we don’t care about gun control right now. That’s a big issue in the country and you are not going to get everyone together on it. … But you are just talking about gun control, which is going to just give you more ratings and every other media or event.”
The grieving father added “It’s not about guns now. … It’s about the safety in our schools.”
Gun control has been a prominent topic of debate following the Parkland shooting. Several students who survived the ordeal have organized a movement calling on lawmakers to pass stricter firearm regulations.
Meanwhile, Pollack has become a vocal advocate for school security. On Feb. 22, he hosted several members of the Parkland community to discuss potential ideas to improve safety on campuses. The bereaved parent has maintained that he does not have any specific solutions but wants lawmakers to investigate the matter.
“Meadow’s going to be the last kid murdered in a school,” Pollack told The Palm Beach Post. “That’s the only thing keeping me from collapsing.”