No parent should ever have to endure the nightmare of burying their child. Yet, many parents had to do exactly that in the wake of Wednesday's horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida. One of those grieving parents is Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter Alyssa was one of the 17 people killed in the attack. Alhadeff was being interviewed by HLN's Mike Galanos when she took the mic in her hand, and with tears streaming down her face, the heartbroken Florida mother addressed the President directly.
Note that the video footage of the mother's speech is powerful and may be difficult to watch.
"How do we allow a gunman to come into our children's school? How do they get through security? What security is there?" Alhadeff 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!"
She elaborated, "I just spent the last two hours putting [together] the burial arrangements for my daughter's funeral, who's 14! ... I just spent the last two hours putting the burial arrangements [together] for my daughter's funeral... President Trump, please do something...action, we need it now! ... 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!"
The mother's absolutely gut-wrenching words rendered CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin speechless and fighting back her own tears. "Congressman, help me out," she said. "Just hearing that mother, I'm sorry, it got me." She had been joined by Democratic US Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, who responded by saying, "What that grieving mother said is the most powerful message that everyone needs to hea. We need action. We have to do something."
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It's clearly difficult to listen to these pained, personalized words from a mother who is facing every parent's worst nightmare. But her plea is illustrative of a stark, maddening reality that our government must confront. We are clearly well beyond the time to act.