Trump Pitches Teachers With Guns, More Mental Institutions

President meets with friends, family of Stoneman Douglas shooting victims
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2018 6:03 PM CST
Trump Says He'll Look at Arming Teachers
President Donald Trump speaks as he hosts a listening session with high school students, teachers, and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump promised to "do something about this horrible situation that's going on" while meeting with students and families affected by shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools Wednesday at the White House, NBC News reports. His solution: arming teachers and other staffers. “If he had a firearm he wouldn’t have had to run, he would’ve shot and that would’ve been the end of it,” Politico quotes Trump as saying of Stoneman Douglas assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who died while protecting students. The Guardian reports Trump also talked about "special training" for teachers and eliminating gun-free zones around schools. “It only works when you have people very adept at using firearms, of which you have many,” Trump said. “It would be teachers and coaches.”

Other potential solutions floated by Trump, who promised action and not more talk "like it has been in the past," include raising the age required to buy an AR-15 and being "very strong" on background checks and mental health. Trump complained about there being fewer "mental institutions" now where people with a mental illness could be put before they do anything criminal, the AP reports. Trump didn't bring up any specific policy proposals while the parents and friends of school shooting victims called for action. "It should've been one school shooting, and we should've fixed it," said Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter was killed at Stoneman Douglas. "I'm pissed." Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son at Sandy Hook added: "You have the ability to save lives today, please don't waste this." (More school shooting stories.)

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