Sparking Swift Backlash, Trump Doubles Down on Proposal to Arm 'Highly Trained Teachers'

President Donald Trump was criticized Thursday for remarks about the proposal to arm teachers in response to school shootings. (Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

Sparking Swift Backlash, Trump Doubles Down on Proposal to Arm 'Highly Trained Teachers'

"I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News," Trump tweeted, adding that U.S. should give firearms to "only the best" educators

Sparking swift backlash Thursday morning, President Donald Trump attacked the news media for reporting on his comments Wednesday about the possibility of instituting "concealed carry for teachers" in an effort to deter school shootings, then doubled down on the proposal, tweeting that firearms should be given to "highly trained" and "only the best" teachers, which he claimed "would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive."

During a listening session at the White House on Wednesday--part of the national discussion about gun violence that's come after 17 people were killed last week in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida--the president noted a proposal popular among gun advocates: "A teacher would have a concealed gun on them," and "they'd go for special training," Trump explained, so if a school shooting occurred, a teacher "who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly." He added, "We're going to be looking at [the proposal] very strongly... I think a lot of people are going to like it."

Several people took to social media on Thursday to call out Trump for the blatant dishonesty in his follow-up tweets:

On Wednesday, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) passed a resolution that condemned gun violence as well as the proposal to arm teachers.

"I am sickened by those doing the bidding of the gun lobby, and those like President Trump and [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos who want an arms race and to turn schools into militarized fortresses by arming teachers," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them--or worse, doesn't care."

In response to Trump's "concealed carry for teachers" comments and his follow-up tweets, critics also expressed alarm at the proposal to give firearms to educators:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.