PARKLAND, Fl. — A father who lost his daughter in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has made it clear he doesn’t agree with the timing of the gun control debate taken up by many of the surviving students, saying their “efforts are going in the wrong direction.”
Andrew Pollack appeared on CNN’s “New Day” Monday to champion a Florida Senate bill that would raise the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 and would provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and for mental health services.
CNN’s Erica Hill pointed out that when the Florida Senate rejected a ban on assault weapons over the weekend, Stoneman Douglas students — many of whom have become public faces of the movement for gun control — tweeted their anger.
“I’d like to talk to the kids,” Pollack responded. “I understand their pain, the children, but that’s an example where their efforts are going in the wrong direction right at this moment.”
He continued, “My kid was murdered in that school so there’s no one that could feel the way I do.”
The father, who gained notoriety of his own when he told President Donald Trump he is “pissed” that school shootings continue to happen and has since expressed support for Mr. Trump’s suggestion that teachers be armed, then gave the students some advice.
“I want them to focus their energy on something that’s achievable right now. Be productive in the country. Work with us. Let’s make these schools safe and once every school is safe in America, do what you have to with the gun laws,” he said.
Pollack noted he has no problem with the students marching against guns once schools are made safer.
Parkland students have organized a demonstration for gun control called the March for Our Lives, which will take place March 24.