Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

The Trump Administration's School Safety Plan Includes a Proposal to Arm Teachers

The Trump Administration's School Safety Plan Includes a Proposal to Arm Teachers

Last week, he endorsed a face-to-face summit with Kim Jong Un after he tweeted in October that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with the North Korean dictator.

Trump has said he believes armed teachers would deter school shootings and better protect students when they happen.

The White House also wants states to pass bills for "risk-protection orders", which allow law enforcement to take guns away from people considered a public threat, and it is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety, to be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, that will explore possible solutions. States were making decisions on this, he said, but added: "Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly)".

The plan did not mention raising minimum purchase-age limits, a move that some firearms retailers have adopted in the wake of the Parkland shooting. He added that an effort to bar bump stock devices was coming and that "Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to hide carry, subject to State Law".

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Democrats, once given hope by Trump's instinctual response, have accused the president of buckling under NRA pressure and reverting to type.

Yet Vice President Mike Pence spoke with a number of Senate Republicans who privately raised serious concerns about what Trump said at the gun summit, according to one White House official who was not authorized to talk on the record and so spoke on the condition of anonymity. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. "Responding to the murder of 17 students and educators by endorsing the gun lobby's platform is a shameful abdication of the president's responsibility to lead".

Though his position on age limits shifted, he expressed support for strengthening the gun background check system, banning bump stocks - an issue that's also drawn criticism from pro-gun rights groups - and arming teachers. The Department of Justice has also been moving forward with that effort.

The White House announcement came a day after Trump, speaking about the opioid problem, criticized policy commissions during a rally in Pennsylvania, saying "we can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees". But you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18.

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"Less than 24 hours after ridiculing the idea of blue ribbon commissions - he said, "all they do it talk and talk and talk, and then two hours later they write a report" - and then on this issue, a commission is okay?" But increasing the minimum age to buy assault weapons is going to a new federal commission for study. Without mentioning Trump or his plan, the NRA stumped for solutions that mirror details listed in it nearly verbatim and also threw support behind "risk protection orders" to strip away guns from individuals who threaten violence or pose a danger to themselves or others.

Other potential topics include the North Korea negotiations, the Republican resistance to the tariffs, and the announcement from British Prime Minister Theresa May today that it's "highly likely" Russian Federation was behind the poisoning of a former spy.

"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could end the attack very quickly", he has said.

But the NRA, a potent lobby which considers the US Constitution's Second Amendment to grant broad gun ownership rights, has pressed the White House and Congress to hold off.

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".@WhiteHouse has taken tiny baby steps designed not to upset @NRA when the #gunviolence epidemic demands giant steps be taken".

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