Trump doubles down on push to arm teachers with guns at CPAC

Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
President Donald Trump holds his notes while hosting a listening session with student survivors of mass shootings

Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images President Donald Trump holds his notes while hosting a listening session with student survivors of mass shootings

President Donald Trump is doubling down on an NRA proposal that he first mentioned earlier this week in an emotional meeting with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting. Parents and educators overwhelmingly reject the idea of arming school staff. Educators need to be focused on teaching our students.

"I'd rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students then somebody standing outside that doesn't know anybody and it doesn't know the students, and frankly, for whatever reason, decided not to go in, even though he heard lots of shots being fired". He helped restrain an active shooter who wounded two students at a Colorado middle school in 2010. "It can't only be defense". "This person that did this awful act, he was mentally deranged and everybody knew it for a long period of time", he added.

At CPAC, most conservatives have trust in their Republican President that they never had in Democratic President Barack Obama, who campaigned after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to ban assault-style weapons and limit high-capacity magazines.

"When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn't have the courage or something happened", he said.

The president also repeated his call for some "well-trained gun-adopted teachers and coaches and people who work in those buildings, people who were in the Marines were 20 years and retired, people in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, people who are adept, adept with weaponry and with guns" to be able to have guns to protect their students.

"They're friends of mine, they backed us", Trump said of the NRA. But the president didn't provide a price tag or propose how school districts with limited resources would pay for it. They contended that it is not their remit to bear weapons to schools, much less use it in risky situations or get into a shooting match with scores of students around.

President Donald Trump's suggestion that teachers should be armed and trained to combat school shooters was widely criticized Wednesday.

"This does not pass any common sense test whatsoever", said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association.

It involves both more guns and more controls.

"The problem is that risky people have very easy access to very unsafe weapons", said Eskelsen Garcia.

At one point, Trump said he wanted to go "off script" because his prepared speech was "boring".

"I think everything he's talking about is reasonable", said Sal DiCiccio, a CPAC attendee and a member of the Phoenix city council.

"I think it starts with making sure that every person who has a gun is entered in that system", she said referencing background checks and her belief that states need to improve their input of the records.

The President on Friday did not mention his call to raise the minimum purchase age for a gun like an AR-15 from 18 years old to 21 years old - that proposal has already drawn some concern from Republicans in the Congress, and reports of resistance inside the NRA as well. "That's the only thing that matters right now", Pollack said. If they really have that aptitude, because not everybody has an aptitude for a gun.

At the Conservative Political Action Committee, where the President is scheduled to speak Friday morning, voters appeared ready to follow Trump's lead. "A father drops his daughter off at school, kisses her goodbye and waves to her as she's walking up the path and never sees her again".

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