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."
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
....History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
....If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there...problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
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."
Trump’s specific phrases yesterday:— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 22, 2018
- “people that are very adept at handling a gun”
- “concealed carry for teachers and for people of talent - of that type of talent” pic.twitter.com/aCvYDflj8x
Several people took to social media on Thursday to call out Trump for the blatant dishonesty in his follow-up tweets:
TRUMP: I want to give teachers guns— Daniel Lin (@danwlin) February 22, 2018
MEDIA: You want to give teachers guns
TRUMP: Liars https://t.co/nLUNtEzC5c
Trump just tweeted that the Fake News media lied about him saying that we should give teachers guns, while simultaneously tweeting that we should give teachers guns. Is this a joke?— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 22, 2018
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:
Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student @ShanaMRosenthal responds to Trump's call to arm teachers: "I don't believe we should be arming our teachers… it's sad that it would even have to come to that point, and we should really focus on the main issues" #DNlive pic.twitter.com/f0LepSVmWK— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) February 22, 2018
If you'd rather arm teachers and task them with the possibility of shooting down their own students if one of them enters their school with a gun...— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) February 22, 2018
than make it more difficult for those students to get a gun in the first place..
Your priorities are beyond fucked.