Sessions to 'confront the problem' of school shootings, but unclear how

He didn't present explicit solutions but said “I think we can and must do better.”

Matt Saintsing
February 15, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA

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Just one day after a deadly school shooting in South Florida took the lives of 17 high school students, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will take steps “to confront the problem of school shootings.”

But, he didn’t announce any policy changes, or call for Congress to act. Instead, he spoke in vague terms, and offered clichés that have begun to sound more like a national script.

Speaking to the Major County Sheriffs’ Association Thursday, the nation’s top lawyer said “we are once again, watching the images of our children— terrified— streaming from their school with their hands above their heads.”

“When parents, once again, go to sleep in fear that their kids will not be safe when they leave for their school bus in the morning.”

Sessions talked about how common school shootings have become, and some possible early indicators to stem the violence. “we've had advanced indications and perhaps we haven't been effective enough in intervening immediately to deal with that," he said.

“I suspect it appears that we’ve seen that again in this case.”

While he didn’t call for explicit and specific measures, he said “I think we can and must do better.”

“We owe it to every one of those kids crying outside their school yesterday and all those who never made it out."

He did say that he directed the department to "work with our partners at Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and across this administration to study the intersection of mental health with criminality and violence, and to identify how we can stop people before these heinous crimes occur.” 

Back in September, the FBI was warned about a potential school shooting from a YouTuber with the same name as the shooter, according to CNN. In that case, the FBI failed to share the information with local law enforcement.