President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order establishing regulatory reform officers and task forces in US agencies in Washington, DC on February 24, 2017.
Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Trump struggles to defend push for armed school teachers

Updated

At yesterday’s White House event on school shootings, Donald Trump didn’t unveil a specific proposal to bring more guns into schools, but the president also didn’t leave any doubts about the kind of proposals he’d prefer to see implemented.

This morning, he apparently saw media coverage of his comments, leading Trump to argue that he didn’t say he wanted to give teachers guns, so much as he wants to give guns to teachers.

“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 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!

“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!

“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!”

Even for Trump, this made for jarring reading. On the one hand, he wants the public to believe he “never said ‘give teachers guns.’” On the other hand, he also wants the public to believe it would be awesome if we had militarized groups teachers who were armed and prepared to take down “savage sickos.”

At yesterday’s event, the president described the scourge of school shootings as a “very difficult” problem, which is “very complex.” This morning, however, the complexities have apparently melted away.

“Problem solved,” Trump declared.

I hate to be a stickler about such things, but I have a few follow-up questions the White House might want to consider:

1. If gunmen are deranged, why does Trump believe they’ll make sensible decisions about committing mass murder based on reason and self-preservation?

2. If gunmen intend to die anyway, why would they be deterred from attacking a school with armed personnel?

3. Exactly what kind of training does the president envision for, say, armed elementary-school teachers who would apparently be responsible for neutralizing would-be assailants?

4. Once more guns are brought into schools, how does Trump intend to deal with possibility of the firearms being accessed by children?

5. How would Trump pay for all of this? A Washington Post analysis this morning noted that to train and equip 20% of the nation’s 3.6 million teachers would cost about $1 billion.

Perhaps considering new restrictions on firearm access would be easier?

Donald Trump and Gun Policy

Trump struggles to defend push for armed school teachers

Updated