President Donald Trump proposed on Thursday to allow properly trained teachers to carry guns to schools in order to deter mass shootings.
In a series of tweets one day after a White House listening session with mass shooting survivors and other advocates, the president also vowed to push for tougher background checks, raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 and ban bump stocks.
“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Cowards won’t go there… problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!”
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
In an unprecedented listening session on Wednesday, Trump spent more than an hour hearing from students, parents, and teachers affected by mass shootings. Trump’s recent predecessors, including Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, did not hold any such sessions in the wake of mass shootings.
“We’re going to work very hard. It’s very difficult, very complex, but we’re going to find a solution,” Trump told the crowd at the White House after the listening session. “We’ve been looking at this issue for a long time, too long as [far as] I’m concerned.”
The president said that he will push for comprehensive background checks, with an emphasis on mental health, adding that it was clear that the Parkland high school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was a “sick person.”
Trump’s call to ban bump stocks isn’t related to the Parkland massacre, but ties back to the worst shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas last year. Bump stocks are a rifle accessory that uses a gun’s inherent recoil force to achieve rapid fire similar that of banned automatic weapons.
All of Trump’s proposal would have to be legislated by Congress.
“Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue,” Trump wrote. “I hope!”
Trump has supported the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution since before he announced his run for the presidency in 2015. The amendment gives people the right to “keep and bear arms.”
Trump announced on Thursday morning that he will meet with lawmakers about school safety at 11:30 a.m. the same day. A meeting with state governors on the same topic is scheduled for next week.
“It’s been many years of all talk, no action,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We’ll get it done!”