In unapologetically clear words, a Sandy Hook mom criticized Trump for inviting the NRA president Wayne LaPierre to a White House event that took place on the fifth anniversary of the shooting. The lambasting rebuke, posted on Facebook Sunday, was signed by Nicole Hockley whose son, Dylan, was among the young victims killed in 2012. The White House confirmed to the New York Daily News that LaPierre did indeed attend a Christmas celebration on Dec. 14, but that "a formal meeting of any kind" had not occurred.
Only five years ago, a shooter opened fire on a classroom in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Hockley's son, Dylan, was among those killed that day. So far, the president has issued no statement or remark on the brutal event — not even a tweet from the otherwise social media-active president.
In a Facebook post from Sandy Hook Promise, an organization focused on addressing nationwide gun violence, Hockley wrote about her haunting experience. Even now, five years later, Hockley said that her pain is felt "every day," and she criticized Trump for his failure to acknowledge the anniversary:
Not only did he ignore the 5-year remembrance completely — not even a single tweet — he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed.
Since her child's untimely death, Hockley has dedicated her life to understanding gun violence in the context of the United States.
To honor him and prevent other families from having to experience this horror, I have dedicated my life to studying the causes of gun violence and promoting tangible solutions that are proven to work and save lives.
Hockley also addressed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' recent statement about the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which she suggested she was not aware of any step that could've stopped such a tragedy from taking place.
I'm not aware of what [that step] would be. But we want to look for every opportunity, every way possible, that we can to protect American lives. And we are going to continue doing that.
Addressing Sanders' comment, Hockley wrote:
[Sanders' statement] shows a remarkable amount of ignorance, especially regarding an issue that kills over 30,000 Americans every year. As the voice of the White House, Sanders should have not only offered condolences — or even thoughts and prayers — but she should know the answers
The more appropriate response from Sanders, according to Hockley, would've been to point to Extreme Risk Protection Orders and Threat Assessment. Hockley wrote that she would "happily" train the current administration about the regulations that she believes could have prevented the brutal shooting.
Highlighting their shared status as parents, Hockley wrote that Trump, Sanders, and LaPierre all had children yet ignored the plight of the parents of Sandy Hook victims.
Trump, LaPierre and Sanders are all parents. While they ignorantly partied and remained uninformed on an issue that kills thousands of Americans every year, I was crying myself to sleep. While they got the chance to kiss their children goodnight, I kissed the urn holding my beautiful boy's ashes.
Considering the current president's silence on the fifth anniversary of one of America's most gruesome and shocking mass shootings, Hockley said she would seek an apology. But even that seemed pointless, she wrote, as she doubted that there were "any hearts in the White House that would understand why an apology is the least they could do."