Kelly Ripa Speaks out About Gun Violence: 'Offering Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough Anymore'

Kelly Ripa spoke out about gun violence in an impassioned speech on her morning show Thursday following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 students and adults dead.

A day after the third deadliest school shooting in recent U.S. history, Ripa called for action on gun laws on Live With Kelly and Ryan.

"[I] don't know how how many times this is going to happen," Ripa began. "I don't know how many times it has to happen for a school shooting, a mass shooting of this caliber, before somebody does something, before people really get into it."

She then squashed potential complaints that a talk show host should avoid speaking publicly about gun violence, saying she was voicing her opinions as a mother. "In this moment, I am a mom of three kids that go to school and I had to talk my kids off a ledge this morning because they were afraid to go to school."

"I said to my kids, follow the instructions of the school, you have these drills in place," Ripa continued. "Unfortunately, my kids have grown up having these drills in place — they don't just have fire drills anymore, they have active shooter drills which is so tragic to me," she continued.

"The fact that our country has such unparalleled mass shooter violence is staggering to me," Ripa said, before hammering her main point: "So somebody needs to have a conversation that is larger than in this moment, and again, I just say it as a concerned citizen and parent and human being that something needs to change, there needs to be a bigger, better dialogue because we are failing in this area."

She went on to say that "offering thoughts and prayers are not enough anymore."

"I can't imagine the horror of the parents of that school," Ripa said. "Or any school when this happens, or any place where this happens."

Ripa circled back to her conversations with her kids, saying that she doesn't want to mislead them when it comes to telling them they're going to be safe at school.

"You don't want to mislead your kids and say this is never going to happen, you hope and pray it doesn't happen, but when they are inundated with these images every day, day after day, all the time, you start to feel like a liar, and I don't like feeling that way," she said.

She ended her commentary by saying, "We are thinking about the people in Florida today and all of those parents and teachers."

Teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been hailed as heroes for keeping as many students safe as possible, like Melissa Falkowski, who hid 19 of her students in a closet away from the shooter.

Falkowski told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on the Today show that "I just did my job." The teacher explained that some of her students "were hysterical from moment one."

Another hero of the tragic shooting was football coach and security guard, Aaron Feis, who shielded students from gunfire and ended up losing his life.

One student reportedly told Fox News, "He sprinted with everything he had towards it to make sure everybody was safe, and I heard that he got in front of a couple people and shielded them, and he actually took the bullets for them."

Following the Florida high school shooting on Wednesday afternoon, authorities eventually released the identity of the shooter as Nikolas Cruz.

Cruz is reportedly a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to The Miami Herald. According to posts on a since-deleted Instagram purportedly belonging to Cruz, he has a penchant for knives and guns.

Per reports prior to Cruz being identified, the shooter was described to CNN news affiliate, WSVN, as wearing a black hat, a maroon or burgundy colored shirt and black pants. He was last seen on the west side of a three-story building on campus.

The father of a student at the high school said the suspect pulled a fire alarm and opened fire as students left their classrooms and went into the hallway, WKBN reports.

0comments

A student at the school told reporters, "We all thought it was a fire drill because we had one previously today. And we thought it was, so no one was that nervous, but then word started going around that it was shots and not just, like, something else, everyone just started running towards the canal."

Cruz was arrested a short distance from the school Wednesday and booked at the Broward County Jail Thursday morning on 17 counts of premeditated murder.