US President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers to deter future mass shootings as he held an emotional meeting on Wednesday at the White House with survivors of the gun rampage that left 17 people dead at a Florida high school.
Trump also promised “very strong” background checks on gun owners during the poignant “listening session,” in which he heard first-hand accounts from bereaved parents and friends, and schoolchildren who narrowly escaped with their own lives.
“A gun-free zone, to a maniac — because they are all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘Let’s go in and let’s attack,” Trump said.
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said, suggesting that 20 per cent of a school’s teachers could be trained to carry concealed weapons.
“This would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a gun,” Trump added.
The televised White House meeting came as students staged street protests across the country to demand stricter gun laws following the murder of 14 teens and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.