Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday proposed flooding the nation's schools and malls with armed guards to prevent more mass shootings, a response to two shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that drew ridicule from his critics.
Hannity, who is one of President Donald Trump's closest unofficial advisers, suggested the policy during a segment discussing the shootings.
Presidential adviser Sean Hannity: "I'd like to see the perimeter of every school in America surrounded, secured by retired police ... have one armed guard on every floor of every school, all over every mall, the perimeter and inside every hall of every mall." pic.twitter.com/Renh47IiBY— Brendan Karet (@bad_takes) August 6, 2019
Media Matters for America transcribed the comments:
I'd like to see the perimeter of every school in America surrounded, secured by retired police—which you are—retired Secret Service—which you are—military, and I want guys to donate 15 hours. I think we could cover every school, every hour, every day.
Add a metal detector, and I think we're going to have safer schools. Have one armed guard on every floor of every school, all over every mall, the perimeter, and inside every hall of every mall. Now, that gives us an instant response opportunity that we normally wouldn't have.
"The most Fox element of all this is that Hannity's calling for retired police to man the front lines in this important effort," said Deadspin editor David Roth. "He knows his audience."
The proposal, which conveniently avoided any mention of the Texas shooter's right-wing, racist motivations for his attack, was met with mockery.
"He thinks more guns will solve the gun violence problem," said activist Holly Figueroa O'Reilly.
The Intercept's Ryan Grim mused that Hannity might not be in touch with retail reality.
"Does Sean know the malls are all closing?" wondered Grim.
The plan just doesn't work on the merits, said sportswriter Dave Hogg.
"Does Hannity also want to put armed guards outside every bar? Every place of worship? Every food festival? Every block party? Every civic building?" Hogg said. "How many armed guards would it have taken to cover Virginia Tech's campus?"
Even if the malls were filled with armed retired police officers, said Media Matters reporter Brendan Karet, that's no guarantee of safety.
"Welcome to Sean Hannity's America," Karet tweeted. "You head to the mall to buy overpriced garbage at Best Buy, and spend the next 30 to 40 minutes wondering if the jumpy retired cop will hear a balloon pop and start mag dumping into the crowd."