Dear Mr. President 💌

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A letter to Trump
A survivor of a school shooting recently wrote President Trump - raising questions about his agenda on gun control. 7-year-old Ava Olson asked Trump, “Are you going to keep kids safe?” The president’s response has kindled debate, since many thought his reply lacked ‘tangible proposals’ on how to address deadly gun violence.

Trump’s views
The Trump administration has always put forth a strong front regarding school shootings, saying they are “unacceptable”. However, their actions aren’t always in alignment with this public stance. In Trump’s NRA speech, he said he would eliminate ‘gun free zones’ and that gun control is an assault on second amendment freedoms. How can the president reconcile his promises to Ava to work on making schools safer, when he is strongly against gun control? This is the question many Americans are asking.

The right calls Trump’s response “heartwarming” and talks about how Ava sees him as a “superhero”. They focus on his commitment to Ava to protect Americans and improve safety for schools, arguing that his personal response to Ava’s letter shows a dedication to helping children like her. Even though he hasn’t released any specifics on his strategy to battle gun abuse, the right sees his compassion and sincerity as an indicator that it is only a matter of time before he has a plan. 

The left spins Trump’s letter as disappointing and vague. His ambiguity regarding any action his administration will take to alleviate Ava’s fears and stop future attacks has opened a door for gun-control activists. These activists say Trump cares more about the freedom to bear arms than fighting to right injustices done to shooting victims by restricting access to guns.

Does this mean more gun control?
Likely not. Frankly, the president receives thousands of letters a day and it is surprising that he chose to reply to one on a contentious topic. The president’s response to Ava is genuine and sympathetic, but she rightfully followed up to ask exactly how he will prevent gun violence in schools. The administration has not provided plans on gun control following the deadliest year for mass shootings in at least a decade in the US.

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