President Trump is struggling through a juggling act right that would be laughable were the stakes not so high. He wants to simultaneously pretend that he’s going to do something to curb the rise of gun violence after last weeks tragic mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School while also bowing and scraping to his donors at the NRA. It’s a painfully transparent ploy that is certain to fail.
On Wednesday, the president held a listening session with the survivors and families of victims of gun violence. He hosted the event at the White House and asked his guests to share their tragic stories and throw out ideas for possible solutions to the gun violence epidemic. The session was scheduled in response to Stoneman Douglas.
During the proceedings, Trump brought up the absurd idea that the best way to prevent school shootings is to arm teachers. Apparently, Republicans are willing to invent the most absurd “solutions” to this growing problem as long as it allows them to avoid talking about the real problem: guns.
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Teachers have enough to worry about as is without strapping a Glock to their waist. The suggestion is also made doubly ridiculous by the fact that many of our schools are grossly underfunded. Some schools can’t even afford heating or books, but now the GOP suddenly think there is money to flood them with firearms? It’s a staggeringly stupid idea.
Trump: "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we're going to be looking at it very strongly…but the good thing is you'll have a lot of [armed] people with that." pic.twitter.com/wGRSTDK38o
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 21, 2018
Yesterday, in response to the well-deserved criticism and outrage at his idiotic idea, Trump unleashed a rambling tweetstorm in defense of himself. He said he only wants to give guns to perhaps 20% of teachers as if that somehow makes the proposal any better.
He contended that allowing teachers with “military or special training experience” to conceal guns on their personages would allow them to “immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.”
Are we to believe that turning a classroom into a crossfire of bullets between a teacher and a murderous gunman will somehow make students safer? Guns are often inaccurate even in the hands of the most accomplished and practiced operator. The odds of an innocent person being accidentally struck by a teacher unloading their weapon are unacceptably high.
And what about when the police arrive and see multiple people wielding guns? In the heat of the moment, there is always a chance they mistake the teachers for active shooters. Tragedy could easily ensue. Trump’s suggestion is ludicrous, and no reasonable person can support it.
Now, a Twitter user purporting to be a California teacher is going viral with her call for the government to arm her, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect.
User @Mrsbowmanocsa asked to be armed with funding for a school psychologist, mandatory school counselors, and funding to create smaller class sizes so she can get to better know her students. She said the above are the things she really needs. At no point did she ask for a firearm.
The idea of devoting more money to counseling and psychology for students is a great suggestion. It might offer a chance to get to the root of the problem and prevent students from radicalizing themselves into nihilistic killers.
I am a teacher. Arm me. Arm me with funding for a full time school Psychologist. Arm me with funding and mandatory school counselors. Arm me by funding smaller class sizes so I can best get to know every one of my 160 students and their families. Arm us with what we NEED.
— Mrs. Heidi Bowman (@Mrsbowmanocsa) February 22, 2018