Trump finishes ‘listening session’ on school shootings by advocating guns for teachers

US President Donald Trump. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday advocated for providing teachers and other school staff with licenses to carry concealed weapons.
  • Two parents whose children were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 said they were opposed to bringing guns into classrooms.

In the midst of an emotional White House listening session on school shootings just a week after the massacre at a Florida school, President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers and other school staff members with concealed weapons to protect themselves and their students.

“If you had a teacher who is adept at firearms it could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said.

The president argued that bringing firearms into schools, which are largely gun-free zones, as a safety measure would deter attacks and “solve your problem.”

“I think they wouldn’t go into the schools to start off with – I think it could very well solve your problem,” Trump said. “So we’ll be doing the background checks, we’ll be doing a lot of different things, but we’ll certainly be looking at ideas like that.”

Trump mentioned that “a lot” of airline pilots carry guns and that the same policy could be effective in schools.

He then asked the group whether they agree or disagree with the proposal. While some parents and family members affected by school shootings said they support concealed carry in schools, others, including parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, said they oppose the idea.

“We can understand both sides. Certainly it’s controversial,” Trump said. “But we’ll study that along with many other ideas.”

The president advocated for the legalization of concealed carry on the campaign trail and said that he would “get rid of gun-free zones in schools” on his “first day in office.”

But when 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton argued that Trump would bring guns into classrooms, he denied that he ever advocated for that.

“Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!” he tweeted in May 2016.

Later that month he said, “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms, although in some cases teachers should have guns in classrooms, frankly.”

Shortly after the listening session, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he would arm school resource deputies with rifles. One such deputy was already armed on the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but he never fired his gun.

Watch the clip below: