A week after Parkland, U.S. President Donald Trump advocates teachers carrying concealed weapons. The students from Parkland express other demands.
Item 5 on Trump’s note at meeting with students after school massacre: "I hear you" Photo: dpa
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering letting school employees carry guns concealed to deter spree killers. He was considering backing proposals for such arming, Trump said Wednesday at the White House in a meeting with students and parents affected by school massacres. The young people voiced different demands than the U.S. president.
Trump hosted the roughly 40 students and parents in the White House State Visitation Dining Room. "There’s nothing worse than what you’ve been through," Trump said. He said he supports stricter security checks and raising the minimum age for gun purchases. During the meeting, the U.S. president held a note with talking points. The last item on it read, "I am listening to you."
Among the attendees were teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where a 19-year-old shot 17 people last week.
The average rampage at a U.S. school takes three minutes, the U.S. president explained. Police, however, have an average response time of five to eight minutes, he said. Armed school staff could take out a spree killer more quickly, he said. He thinks this proposal could, "solve the problem," Trump said. It would also make potential shooters think twice about committing the crime.
He also referred to armed flight attendants who have carried concealed weapons since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to intervene in an emergency. Parkland County Sheriff Scott Israel, while in favor of armed protection in schools, spoke out against firearms in the hands of teachers. Speaking at a CNN TV debate, Israel said guns don’t belong in teachers’ hands and received applause for that. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida also said arming teachers is "a terrible idea." However, that does not make him an anti-gun activist. A student at the event asked him to confirm that he was not accepting donations from the NRA. Rubio responded by saying he doesn’t oppose anything that supports his agenda.
Many of the young people spoke in favor of better gun control. "I don’t understand why I can still go to the store and buy a weapon of war. An AR. How can it be so easy to buy such a weapon?" asked Samuel Zeif in tears. His best friend was one of the victims, the 18-year-old said. The high school’s student body president, Julia Cordover, said she was lucky to be home from school that day. "I’m confident you’ll do the right thing," Cordover told Trump.
On Wednesday, thousands of students in Florida and Washington had taken to the streets in support of tightening gun laws in the United States. In Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, survivors of the Parkland bloodbath and many other young people gathered outside the Capitol. In the U.S. capital, students protested in front of Congress and the White House. For the 24th. March, a major demonstration called "March for Our Lives" is planned in Washington, where young people will take to the streets with the support of prominent anti-gun opponents.