President Trump on Friday doubled down on his plan to arm qualified teachers and other staffers so they could shoot back if a gunman attacked their school.
“We want to ensure that when there are warning signs, we can act and act very quickly.,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
“Why do we protect our airports and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools. We don’t want them in our schools. We don’t want them. When we declare our schools to be gun free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger. Far more danger,” he said.
“Well trained, gun adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings, people that were in the Marines for 20 years, and retired, people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, people that are adept, adept with weaponry, and with guns,” he said.
Gun-free schools, he argued, endanger students and staffers.
“If this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn’t have gone to that school. he wouldn’t have gone there,” he said, referring to Nikolas Cruz, 19, who shot and killed 14 students and three staffers with an AR-15 assault rifle on Valentines Day at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Teachers and coaches, he argued, love their students so would be better motivated to protect them, unlike security guards.
“These teachers love their students and the students love their teachers in many cases. These teachers love their students. I would rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t know the students,” he said.
Many educators and politicians from both parties have expressed concern in some cases and outrage in others over Trump’s plan, saying that putting more guns in schools could increase the danger faced by students, teachers and staff.