Parkland survivor Lauren Hogg implores Congress to do more on school shootings
© Getty Images

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.


“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 RoseMixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates Rep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy 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: Will Iran crisis sideline impeachment process? Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely GOP set to make life difficult for Democrats on impeachment 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 ClarkeSanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements Hillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets Jewish advocates pressure social media platforms, Congress to regulate online anti-Semitic speech 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 TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 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 DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida Supreme Court rules convicted felons must pay fines, fees before voting Florida moves to purchase land to protect Everglades from oil drilling Top Latino group: Trump is about to hold a 'fake Christian campaign rally' 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.”