During the meeting with Parkland students at the White House on Wednesday President Trump said arming teachers is a step that can be taken to make schools less-attractive targets for attackers.
He said that as things stand, attackers have nothing to lose because no one can shoot back.
CNN quoted Trump saying, “Gun-free zone to a maniac—because they’re all cowards—a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’” He said adopting a policy where “20 percent” of teachers were armed would reduce or eliminate the perception of weakness, making schools a riskier target to strike.
Trump said, “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.”
Newsweek reports that Trump also emphasized mental health and raising “the minimum age for purchasing a firearm,” but the push for arming teachers took center stage.
Students showed considerable support for the idea of arming teachers. Hunter Pollack, who lost his sister Meadow in the attack, said, “I’m not here to debate, but I lost my sister. And like Mr. President said, if you could find 20% of maybe retired law enforcement officers, or a teacher who could go through discreet training to carry a firearm around his waist, it could’ve been a very different situation.”
President Trump campaigned on allowing teachers to be armed for self-defense. He said gun-free zones provide “target practice for sickos” and, on October 8, 2016, theWashington Post quoted him saying, “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools.”