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Trump to NRA: We Must Arm Teachers

'You have to give them a chance,' president tells convention
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2018 3:43 PM CDT
Trump to NRA: We Must Arm Teachers
President Trump speaks at the NRA convention in Dallas, Friday, May 4, 2018.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Trump addressed the annual NRA convention in Dallas on Friday and promised the group's members that their gun rights were safe with his White House. "Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president," Trump told the group, per CNN. He ridiculed the idea of banning firearms by noting terrorists' use of vehicles against pedestrians. "So, let’s ban immediately all trucks, all vans, maybe all cars," he said sarcastically. "How about that?” Other coverage:

  • Arming teachers: Trump advocated for teachers to carry weapons in the classroom. "They love their students," he said. "And they're not going to let anybody hurt their students. But you have to give them a chance." Also on the topic of guns in schools, he said of the suspected school shooter in Parkland, Florida: "There has never been a case where more red flags have been shown."

  • Change in tone: The Washington Post notes that the speech marks a change of tone for Trump, who chastised lawmakers after the Parkland shooting for being intimidated by the NRA. Though he initially spoke of backing tougher gun measures in the immediate aftermath of that shooting, Trump eventually backed a moderate measure to improve background checks.
  • Off topic: As he loves to do, the president frequently veered off the topic at hand, hitting on the 2018 midterms ("don't be complacent"), unemployment numbers, the Mueller "witch hunt," North Korea, immigration ("we have laws written by people that truly could not love our country"), and Kanye West (see below), among other things.
  • Kanye West: Trump credited new ally Kanye West for a bump in popularity. "West must have some power because you probably saw I doubled my African-American poll numbers," he said, per Politico. "We went from 11 to 22 in one week,” the president said, apparently referring to a Reuters weekly tracking poll reflecting that increase. “Thank you, Kanye. Thank you."
  • Knives in London: The BBC took note of Trump's reference to knife crime in London. "I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds," he said, adding that "there's blood all over the floors of this hospital." He did not name the hospital.
  • NRA challenges: The Guardian lists six, beginning with a "new generation of fierce, media-savvy gun violence prevention advocates," especially in the wake of the shooting in Parkland. Also of note, more companies have been distancing themselves from the NRA and guns of late.
  • Not tough enough: NPR catches up with members who think NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and other leaders are conceding too much ground to advocates of gun control. "They constantly negotiate our rights away," says one.
  • Protests: Opponents of the group will be using photos of victims of gun violence to spread their message. ABC News has details.
(More NRA stories.)

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