Changing gun laws "not achievable," Parkland victim's father says

Andrew Pollack, the father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting on Feb. 14, says changing federal gun laws is just "not achievable" and the focus should instead be on strengthening school safety. Meadow was one of the 14 students and three others who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"Gun laws right now are not achievable. My daughter was murdered by a gun. She should have been safe in the school," said Pollack on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "I'm not saying don't go after gun laws. I'm not a gun expert. I'm saying that's the problem. We need -- there was 200 shootings. That's always getting twisted into gun laws and gun control. If we all focus together, one nation, no political affiliation, we could work together and make the schools safe, and then go fight it out."

Since his daughter's death, Pollack has been outspoken on demanding lawmakers act to prevent further tragedies like the one that took his daughter's life.

"I want to be the last father of a murdered kid that's ever in this country," he said on the first day back to classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for students last week. 

On Sunday, he explained his focus on advocacy in the wake of the tragedy. 

"My father instilled in me -- if you wanted something done, right you do it yourself. So right now I'm trying to do things my way and help," he said. "I'm not listening, I'm not leaving it up to the president. I'm taking it in my hands and with a lot of people behind me."

Pollack was invited to the White House for Mr. Trump's listening session with survivors of mass shootings where Pollack made an emotional plea for the president to act. He told Mr. Trump, "It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it."

In the wake of the most recent deadly shooting, Mr. Trump has signaled he would be open to supporting bipartisan legislation on more stringent background checks and raising the age limit of those who can purchase high-capacity weapons. He has also called on the Justice Department to explore regulations that would ban "bump stock" devices, which drastically increase a weapon's rate of fire.

But it was during White House listening sessions where he embraced proposals to arm teachers in classrooms, adding that educators who were trained in being "adept at guns" could receive a bonus for their training efforts.

While Pollack did not explicitly say if he would be supportive of such gun laws, he said he would be traveling back to Tallahassee to lobby for legislation in the Florida Senate. On Saturday the state legislature rejected a proposal to ban assault weapons and supported the idea of arming teachers.

"I want to see what's in this Florida bill passed. That's what I'm for and I'm going to go to Tallahassee. I'm leaving to Tallahassee tonight and I want Florida to set an example for the rest of the country because I went over the bill."

He added, "we need to get the bill passed in Florida and that's why when I leave here tonight I'm on a mission. I'm going to Tallahassee and I'm going to make sure the bill passes whatever I have to do."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital