In a speech to a large gathering of conservative political activists outside Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump on Friday said he is committed to forcing security changes in America's schools, which he says will cut down on the threat of mass school shootings, like the one last week in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people.
During his calls to arm teachers, Trump also praised students who survived last week's shooting in Parkland, saying "our whole nation was moved by their strength".
"I'm not here to tell all teachers that they have to carry a gun", said Hansen, the Utah teacher, who's from Salt Lake City. "Saved a lot of lives, I suspect", Trump said, apparently referring to Aaron Feis, a coach at Stoneman Douglas who survivors say died while shielding students from gunfire.
"You had one guard".
He was briefed by White House officials before participating in the listening and did not use a teleprompter during the event.
"Because, when you have a gun-free zone, you're really inviting people to come in and do whatever you have to do and, often times, get out", he said. "But he certainly did a poor job", the President told reporters before boarding Marine One. "There's no question about that".
NRA leaders emerged in unannounced appearances at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, blaming the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local reporting failures for the Florida shooting.
In speaking with law enforcement who have training in mass shooting incidents, Nettles said he doesn't see how "a teacher or principal could be trained in a way they could emotionally handle a situation like that".
"Arming teachers is inane and insane - a sure path to reckless and panicky shooting, gun theft, and other deadly dangers".
Trump had earlier proposed raising from 18 to 21 the minimum age to buy more guns than at present - like the assault-style rifle used by 19-year-old Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz - and making it more hard for the mentally ill to own firearms.
A strong supporter of gun rights, Trump has nonetheless indicated in recent days that he is willing to consider ideas not in keeping with National Rifle Association orthodoxy, including age restrictions for buying assault-type weapons.
"The president has a unique ability right now to maybe really do something about these school shootings", said Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican from Florida.
"The truth is, laws succeed only when people obey them", he said. Teachers are not even given adequate school supplies, they mostly have to purchase necessary supplies themselves.
In a series of Twitter posts, Trump said he was clarifying news reports that said he wanted to arm teachers, a proposal that has been met with skepticism and rejection. They want to be able to quickly identify and stop the shooter.
- Trump said he will push comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on mental health. "Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive", Trump tweeted.