Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, says arming teachers could be one of the most potent ways to end the incessant cases of school shootings in the country.
Trump said this when he received a delegation of students from Stoneman Douglas High School at the White House on Wednesday.
A 19-year-old former student attacked Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s day, killing 17 people and escaped briefly before he was later arrested.
But Trump thinks the solution does not lie solely in passing stricter gun control laws, instead he suggested that arming teachers could go a long way in curbing gun violence in schools.
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said.
“Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them, they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone.
“A gun-free zone, to a maniac, because they are all cowards, a gun-free zone is, ‘let’s go in and let’s attack.'”
Many parents and politicians, even members of the ruling Republican Party, however, are strongly opposed to the idea.
“Schoolteachers have more than enough responsibilities right now, than to have to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life,” said Mark Barden – whose son Daniel was killed in 2012 during a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Trump had directed Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General, to take steps to ban gun ‘bump stocks’, a gun accessory which could be used to turn a rifle into a semi-automatic assault weapon.
This was used by a gunman who killed 58 concert-goers in Las Vegas in October 2017, the deadliest attack by a lone gunman in US history.
The call for teachers and educators to bear arms have been championed over the years by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun lobby group that contributed an estimated $30 million during Trump’s presidential campaign.
The NRA also opposes a total ban on bump stocks but supports some regulation of the devices and some changes to background check legislation.