Donald Trump has fired off a string of angry tweets denying claims he said teachers should be given guns in classrooms – before outlining exactly why he thinks some teachers should be given guns in classrooms.
On Wednesday, students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in which 17 people were shot dead, were among those affected by mass shootings who met the President to relay their horrifying experiences.
And Trump used the session to float the idea that any attack would end ‘very quickly’ if teachers are armed.
He said: ‘If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.”
‘Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them,” he said, while acknowledging the plan was controversial, “they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone.
He has since backtracked on the comments, claimimg that guns should only be given to teachers with prior military experience.
President Trump’s divisive proposal came a day after he called for controversial ‘bump stock’ gun modifiers to be banned.
He has also stated that he will strongly push for Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on mental health and raise the age to 21.
As he met survivors of the deadly Florida school shooting, the US President also backed calls for more stringent background checks on anyone purchasing firearms.
‘We’ll be very strong on background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody’, Mr Trump told students during a televised address from the White House.
Despite being a strong supporter of gun rights, the President has indicated in recent days that he is willing to consider ideas that go against the principles of the National Rifle Association (NRA), including age restrictions for buying assault-type weapons.
Over 40 people assembled in the State Dining Room to hear Trump’s remarks, including six students from Parkland and the student body president, along with their parents.
Also present at the meeting were Darrell and Sandra Scott, whose daughter was killed in the Columbine, Colorado, shooting, and Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, who lost children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Students and parents from the Washington area were also present.
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The student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Julia Cordover, tearfully told Mr Trump that she ‘was lucky enough to come home from school’.
Yesterday, Mr Trump directed the Justice Department to ban devices like the rapid-fire bump stocks that were used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre.
The White House has also said Mr Trump was looking at a bill that would strengthen federal gun background checks.
But the moves have been deemed inadequate, with leading Democrats questioning whether the Justice Department has authority to regulate bump stocks, as well as arguing that background check legislation will not be sufficient.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: ‘If ATF tries to ban these devices after admitting repeatedly that it lacks the authority to do so, that process could be tied up in court for years, and that would mean bump stocks would continue to be sold.’