Faced with a host of unattractive options on what to do about guns—including “do absolutely nothing and look heartless” or “do something and anger his gun-loving base”—Donald Trump on Thursday leaned into his insane, favorite option: arming teachers. But he put a new twist on it, suggesting that teachers should be paid more if they want to carry guns at school.
“I want certain highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns...A concealed permit” for some teachers, Trump said at a roundtable of state and local officials about school safety, according to the White House press pool report. He went on the suggest “a little bit of a bonus” for trained teachers who tote guns in their schools, throwing out 10%, 20%, or even 40% as possible bonuses for qualified instructors who undergo “rigorous training.”
“You can’t hire enough security guards...But you could have concealed [weapons] on the teachers,” Trump continued. “I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected.”
The president, who called himself “the biggest believer in the Second Amendment” also said the National Rifle Association, the gun lobbying group, “is ready to do things,” including back a minimum age of 21 to buy guns.
The president suggested earlier this week that, had some quick-moving teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just been armed, they could have ended the massacre that took place there.
Even though half a dozen states are considering legislative to ease legislation banning guns on school campuses, teachers’ groups are, by and large, completely opposed to the idea.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, told Politico that anyone who believes arming teachers would curb gun violence is only picturing a scenario that might work in the movies but not real life.
“You’re asking the teacher to have the presence of mind to not only do what her instincts compel her to do, but then find her loaded handgun and get in position … and be a good enough shot—in the middle of all of this—so that she can be the marksperson who then maims or kills the intruder with the rifle,” Weingarten said.