US President Donald Trump (C) meets at the White House with survivors of the Florida massacre that left 17 dead in Washington on February 21, 2018.
US President Donald Trump repeated his conviction Thursday that arming some teachers would have a deterrent effect against possible attackers who seek to spread terror in schools.
In a morning of tweets, the president estimated that this measure, very controversial and rejected by a part of the educational community, could be decisive: “A school ‘without weapons’ is a magnet for bad people,” he said.
Trump had already argued in favor of that proposal during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday with survivors of the slaughter at a Florida high school, which left 17 dead last week. This Thursday you must meet with state legislators to continue discussions on this sensitive issue.
“Highly trained teachers and trainers with weapons will instantly solve the problem before the police arrive, GREAT DEPRESSIVE POWER,” Trump wrote, noting that according to the experience the shootings last on average “three minutes” and that it takes him ” 5 to 8 minutes “to the police to respond.
He estimated that 20% of teachers, those with weapons and with “military background or special training” could carry “hidden weapons”, which would allow them to “immediately respond to the shots if a savage psychopath enters a school with bad intentions” .
According to Trump, armed teachers would be much more effective and less expensive than hiring security guards in schools, presenting an economic argument for the first time.
USA: carrying weapons in educational centers
“If a ‘psycho shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of expert masters in arms (…) will never attack that school (…) Problem solved,” he said.
– Teachers must teach –
After the shooting in Florida, Trump has said he will promote controls on gun purchases and proposed banning a device that allows converting semi-automatic weapons into machine guns. But his insistence on arming teachers has raised a wave of controversy.
During a debate organized on Wednesday night near Miami by CNN, numerous voices rose to warn against that scenario.
“Should I train like a policewoman instead of educating children?” inquired Ashley Kurth, a teacher at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, where the shooting occurred a week ago. “Should I wear a kevlar bulletproof vest?” He added.
“I do not think the teachers should be armed, I think they should teach,” said Commissioner Scott Israel, who intervened at the scene of the massacre.
Republican senator Marco Rubio also showed his differences with Trump, affirming his opposition to that idea.
– “Shameful politicization” –
In the series of messages, Trump also said that he would support similar causes to critics of the system of access to weapons in the United States, such as raising the minimum age for buying a rifle from 18 to 21 years or reinforcing criminal record checks and mental health of potential buyers.
Several people have highlighted the fact that Parkland attacker Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been able to legally buy a semiautomatic rifle, while it takes 21 years to have a drink in the United States.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful pro-arms lobby that paid $ 30 million to Trump’s presidential campaign, expressed opposition to any raising of the legal age to buy a weapon, estimating that such measure “punishes obedient citizens of the law for the evil acts of criminals. ”
One step further, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre denounced “the shameful politicization” of the Florida shooting and called “poisonous movement” to supposed “socialists” on the US left and the mass media for criticizing the powerful lobby.
“For them it’s not a security issue, it’s a political issue,” LaPierre added during an annual conference of conservatives, in his first public statement after the Florida shooting.
LaPierre also seemed to coincide with President Donald Trump in promoting the fortification of schools to prevent further shootings.
Schools in unarmed areas are “open targets for any crazy man,” he said, repeating the NRA’s long-standing position: “To stop a bad man with a weapon, you need a good man with a weapon.”
After the shooting in Florida, the surviving students lead the #Neveragain movement and called on marches to demand greater control over the access to weapons.