Parkland survivor Lauren Hogg implores Congress to do more on school shootings
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Parkland shooting survivor Lauren Hogg proposed steps lawmakers could take to address school shootings, saying Congress is not doing enough to prevent massacres like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“I think if you would have done enough, we wouldn’t have to be having this conversation today,” Hogg told members of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

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“I’m just trying to be frank with you,” said the co-founder of March For Our Lives, a group started after the Parkland, Fla., shooting. “I think if we did enough, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have lost my friends.”

Seventeen people died after a gunman equipped with an AR-15 opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland.

“I don’t think you or your friends at this point have any reason to trust us,” Rep. Max RoseMax RoseProgressive Caucus co-chair: Reported oversight change in intelligence office 'seems a bit...fascist' Alarm grows over Americans stranded in Yemen amid pandemic Moderate House Democrats introduce bill aimed at stopping China from exploiting coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.) told Hogg. “If Parkland happened tomorrow again, if Sandy Hook happened again tomorrow somewhere else. Do you think we would act?”

“I hope one day you will,” Hogg responded.

Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Memo: Trump's race tactics fall flat Trump administration ending support for 7 Texas testing sites as coronavirus cases spike The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Miami mayor worries about suicide and domestic violence rise; Trump-governor debate intensifies MORE (D-Texas) told Hogg: “The adults have failed you. We shouldn’t have allowed unlimited assault weapons on the streets capable of killing scores in seconds. We failed you. And we ought to do something about it.” 

Other Democratic lawmakers expressed frustration with Washington’s inaction on enacting gun control laws. 

“Each time our nation experiences another school shooting we send out our thoughts and prayers. But thoughts and prayers don’t stop bullets,” Rep. Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Top tech executives testify in blockbuster antitrust hearing Hillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

Republicans and Democrats have been divided over gun legislation for years. Earlier this month the House Judiciary Committee advanced three gun violence prevention bills that would outlaw high capacity magazines, ban people convicted of a misdemeanor or hate crime from owning a firearm and allow judges to take away guns from people considered to be a public danger. 

Republicans on the committee raised their concerns that the measures would infringe on the Second Amendment.

There is bipartisan support for improving school security, with legislation introduced earlier this week that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of providing recommendations and sharing information with state and local officials about implementing certain security measures to improve school safety.

But the Senate and President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE have yet to agree on any form of gun legislation in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last month.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantis DeSantis rules out 2024 White House run: 'Total garbage' US surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election MORE (R) this year signed into law a bill allowing public school districts to arm teachers, a step Hogg objected to during Thursday’s hearing.

“I think it’s not their responsibility,” she said. “I come from a family of teachers and I think when they went to college — when they went to school to become an educator — they weren’t thinking that part of their job was to be an armed officer.”

Hogg said that instead lawmakers should take steps that include things like hiring trained mental health professionals to provide counseling to students, providing physical security that does not militarize campuses and addressing gun violence directly.

“Trying to imagine a world where schools shootings aren’t a thing that happened to myself is like trying to describe color to a blind man," she said. "This has been my normal, my whole life. It’s unfortunate, but it has. And I think if Sandy Hook or Stoneman Douglas happened tomorrow, I am not sure if many congressmen — congresswomen — today would do anything unless it was their own child or their own loved one who was taken by gun violence.”