Trump Says He Knows How To Stop School Shootings

22 Feb, 2018

Donald Trump doubled down on his proposal to address school shootings by giving some teachers guns, tweeting on Thursday it would be a “great deterrent” to killers.

The US president on Wednesday held a listening session at the White House with survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, telling them “teachers and coaches” who were “very adept at using firearms” could be armed.

“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” he said.

On Thursday, Trump began by denying he had ever proposed giving teachers guns, but then went on to expand on the proposal.

“I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @nbc,” he said. “What I said was to look at the possibility of giving ‘concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best.

“Twenty percent of teachers, a lot, would now be able to … immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards.”

He added: “A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END! History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!”

It emerged after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland that there was an armed security guard on site, but he did not get the chance to engage the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, on the sprawling campus.

Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan died at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, spoke out against the idea of arming teachers. “Rather than arming them with a firearm, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place,” she told Trump on Wednesday.

Safety assessment programmes and interventions for troubled children are vital, she added. “There is so much that we can do to help people before it reaches that point, and I urge you please stay focused on that as well. It is the gun, it’s the person behind the gun and it’s about helping people before they ever reach that point.”

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) executive council on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning calls to arm teachers. “Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them – or worse, doesn’t care,” the AFT president, Randi Weingarten, said in a statement.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, South Dakota passed a law in March 2013 to allow school personnel or volunteers to be armed under a school sentinel program. The program was first employed by a school district in 2016, but that district has revealed few details about how it is being used.

In April 2013, the NRA was criticized for backing in a 225-page report by their National School Shield Task Force a plan to arm teachers. The report did not include an earlier recommendation by the NRA’s executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre to allow armed volunteers in schools.

The NRA provided $30m to Trump’s presidential campaign. However, Trump also endorsed policies the gun lobby broadly opposes in his early morning tweets.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health,” Trump tweeted. “Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!”

The NRA has not supported a ban on bump stocks and opposes introducing new age limits on gun purchases.

The NRA has backed legislation to improve background checks, though it is unclear what changes the president supports and whether those changes would be endorsed by the gun lobby.

The Guardian

Image Trump twitter

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