President Trump suggests bonuses for armed teachers in effort to prevent shootings

President Trump doubled down on his calls to arm teachers in schools across the country in an effort to help prevent mass shootings from taking place. He suggested during the administration’s most recent White House listening session with state and local officials that teachers who were trained in being “adept at guns” could receive a bonus for their training efforts.

“We have to harden our schools, not soften them up. A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream. Like here I am — take me,” he said.

He added, “Shooters won’t walk into a school if 20% of people have guns.”

While the president has signaled he would be open to raising the age limit of those who can purchase high-capacity weapons as well as announce a proposal to draft regulations that would ban “bump stock” devices, he spent much of the morning and afternoon session expressing his interest in arming teachers.

Mr. Trump suggested in a series of tweets on Thursday that he would be open to exploring the idea of “gun adept teachers with military or special training experience” being able to carry concealed weapons at schools as a deterrence to prevent shootings.

He brought up those claims at Thursday’s session, suggesting that “highly adept” teachers that do carry “we give them a bonus” adding that armed teachers would need training and should be paid extra money. He backed that up by saying it was “much less expensive than the guards” and would more effective.

“You come into our schools you’re gonna be dead. And it’s gonna be fast,” he said. “I want my schools protected like my banks are protected,” he added.

As the meeting came to a close, the president was asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting – he said no, and that they’d be “experts.”

Asked whether he’d provide federal funding for the armed teachers program, he said he would be opening to considering such funding for training.

Trump on arming teachers

The president renewed his calls to allow teachers in schools to conceal weapons of their own in an effort to prevent mass shootings.

“We have to harden our schools, not soften them up. A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream. Like here I am — take me,” he said.

He added, “Shooters won’t walk into a school if 20% of people have guns.”

He suggested that “highly adept” teachers that do carry “we give them a bonus” adding that armed teachers would need training and should be paid extra money. He backed that up by saying it was “much less expensive than the guards” and would more effective and “look better.”

“You come into our schools you’re gonna be dead. And it’s gonna be fast,” he said. “I want my schools protected like my banks are protected,” he added.

The president also suggested that active shooter drills like ones conducted across the country are a “very negative thing” and that it “scares kids.”

As the meeting came to a close, the president was asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting – he said no, and that they’d be “experts.”

Asked whether he’d provide federal funding for the armed teachers program, he said he would be opening to considering such funding for training.

Trump: “We’re going to do strong background checks”

“I called many senators last night, many Congressmen. They’re into doing background checks that they wouldn’t be thinking about two weeks ago,” said Mr. Trump.

He said the administration will be going to be “talking seriously about opening mental institutions and in some cases reopening” them.

“We want to ensure when we see warning signs, we act quickly,” said the president of school shooters.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar echoed the president’s urgency on addressing the mental illness component to preventing shootings, stressing the importance of screening and treatment around mental illness, as well as community engagement and research on the next generation of therapies.

Trump on violent crime, gangs

“We are working to reduce violent crime in America.” He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “very much after that” as well as gangs.

The president addressed Sessions himself, saying “You’re doing a great job with the gangs. The gangs are such a problem. These are human beings, these are animals.”

He added, “We are literally getting MS-13 out by the thousands.” The president said members of the gang are typically using knives as opposed to guns to carry out violence.

The president then suggested if he pulled law enforcement out of California you would have a “crime nest like you’ve never seen” The president said California is doing a “lousy management job” of preventing gang violence.

“It’s a disgrace. The sanctuary city situation,” he said.

“If I pulled ICE out of California, in two months they would be begging for us to come back,” He added, “And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.”

Trump on listening sessions

The president said he pledged to the people at Wednesday’s listening session the administration would take action – unlike people sitting in his position “who took no action at all.”

He called Wednesday an “incredible meeting” with people who have suffered so badly.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the meeting touched people across the country. “We believe we can do better,” Sessions said.

In light of the session, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky the mayor of Parkland told the president “you have done a great job.”

“You don’t know how much it meant for those students to be heard. That’s a very empowering thing for the students and we appreciate it immensely. This didn’t just happen in a vacuum. There was a whole timeline that led to this,” said Hunschofsky.

She added, “I’m happy there’s such a commitment to action on all the steps taken that could have prevented it.”

Trump talks age limits on guns

The president reiterated his support for raising age limit for certain weapons.”A lot of things are happening,” the president said.

He said the administration is “Working on getting the age up to 21 instead of 18” and that there’s a “tremendous feeling that we want to get something done” — a feeling “including at the NRA,” he said.

Author: EMILY TILLETT/ CBS NEWS
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