U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at what he called “fake news” outlets, insisting that he never suggested arming teachers as a possible solution to school shootings.
“”I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News CNN and NBC.
“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,” Trump said in a Twitter message.
The president was referring to comments he made on Wednesday during a White House listening session with victims and survivors of school shootings, including last week’s attack in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.
In a series of Twitter posts on Thursday, Trump argued that “Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.
Far more assets at much less cost than guards,” adding that “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 invited victims of Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland to the White House, along with survivors and parents of children killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre.
President Donald Trump has floated the idea that arming teachers and school staff could prevent future massacres, as he met with Florida school shooting survivors, who demanded changes and solutions.
“If you had a teacher with, who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly… And we’re going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it, I think a lot of people are going to like it,” Trump said at a ‘listening session’ at the White House on Wednesday, that included some Florida school shooting survivors.
While Trump’s controversial proposal is still up for discussion, the US president noted that such a practice has a high success rate on airplanes. Undercover Federal Air Marshals carry weapons on many US flights. Trump somehow estimated that just 20 percent of teachers and staff armed with guns could effectively thwart potential attacks on school property.
“The attack has lasted on average about three minutes. It takes 5-8 minutes for the responders, for the police to come in,” Trump said, explaining the argument for arming school staff.
“You’d have a lot of people who would be armed, who would be ready,” Trump said. “They may be Marines that left the Marines, left the Army, left the Air Force, and they are very adept at doing that. You’d have a lot of them and they would be spread evenly throughout the school.”
Last Wednesday, a teenager armed with an AR-15 opened fire on students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen more. The perpetrator, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was detained shortly after the shooting and later confessed to the crime.
Students, parents and family members of Florida massacre victims raised their voices at the commander-in-chief, urging the president with tears in their eyes to find a solution to the gun problem, which continues to plague US schools
Nearly 300 shootings have occurred at U.S. schools since 2013, an average of about one per week, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a U.S. gun control advocacy group.
The attack in Florida was the 18th incident involving guns at a U.S. school so far this year, and the eighth to result in injuries or deaths, according to a running tally provided on the group’s website.
Not everyone welcomed Trump’s idea of arming teachers. Mark Barden, the father of one of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, noted that any would-be shooter “is not going to care if there’s someone there with a gun” working at the school premises.