White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House, September 12, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

Asked about school shootings, Sanders points to dubious commission

Thirteen-year-old Benje Choucroun, reporting from the White House for Time for Kids magazine, was invited to ask a question at yesterday’s briefing. If Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expected a softball from the kid, she was probably disappointed.

“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill,” the teenager said. “One thing that affects mine and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”

Showing more emotion than we’re accustomed to seeing from the president’s spokesperson, Sanders replied:

“I think that as a kid, and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe. So I’m sorry that you feel that way.

“This administration takes it seriously. And the School Safety Commission that the president convened is meeting this week, again, an official meeting to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make them feel safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off.”

That wasn’t much of an answer. Asked for specific steps Trump has taken to prevent school shootings, the White House press secretary pointed to a commission meeting?

And taking a step further, what exactly is this commission that Sanders referred to?

Following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., Trump tasked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to oversee a panel to “study and make recommendations.”

After the mass shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Tex., earlier this month, the White House said Trump had “activated” the commission “to start that conversation up again.”

That seemed to suggest the panel wasn’t doing a whole lot of work between the two massacres.

Given these details, raise your hand if you’re optimistic about what the commission is likely to accomplish to save lives.

Gun Violence and White House

Asked about school shootings, Sanders points to dubious commission