While President Trump endorsed the idea of arming teachers to help prevent school shootings, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Wednesday he opposed the plan.
“I don’t support that, and I would admit to you right now I answer that as much as a father as I do as a senator. The notion that my kids are going to school with teachers that are armed with a weapon is not something that, quite frankly, I’m comfortable with,” he said at a CNN town hall event.
One of the “practical problems” Rubio brought up was that an armed teacher could be mistaken for a threat during an active shooter scenario because “the SWAT team doesn’t know who is who.” This, he added, may lead to an “additional tragedy that was unnecessary.”
Trump said the idea of arming teachers and administrators “is certainly a point we will discuss.”
“It takes five to eight minutes for first responders. So the attack is over.
If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, that could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said. “We’re going to be looking at that very strongly. And I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it.”
The president also said Wednesday that background checks and mental health would also be emphasized in the White House’s discussions going forward.
“We are going to be very strong on background checks, and put a very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody,” he said. “We’re going to talk and get it done. It’s been going on too long, too many instances and we’re going to get it done.”
Update: President Trump clarified Thursday morning on Twitter that he never said to give teachers guns.
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018