the national interest

Trump: I Never Said Give Teachers Guns, But It Would Be Awesome

Donald Trump is nerding out on the policy details again. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday afternoon, at a meeting with survivors and parents of school shootings, President Trump floated the idea of arming large numbers of teachers. “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” he thoughtfully proposed. News coverage of his remarks has made for an upsetting morning of Executive Time, and so the president has explained that he never said teachers should be armed:

Trump immediately followed up his denial of having advocated large-scale faculty militarization with an uncharacteristically detailed (by his standards) explanation of how and why such a proposal would work:

Note that Trump combines several assumptions here that are deeply at odds with each other, as well as with the beliefs of experts. He believes “a large number of very weapons talented teachers” could practically be deployed, and these teachers could effectively execute tactical operations amid moving targets in high-stress environments, surrounded by large numbers of terrified civilians. He further believes that introducing millions of weapons into schools would not introduce additional security risks of those firearms being stolen or abused (some teachers, after all, also suffer mental health issues).

What’s more, he believes that mass shootings are carried out by “sickos,” yet those sickos conduct careful security reviews of their targets and can be easily deterred by the threat of counter-fire. And he apparently believes that, having first decided to conduct a mass shooting of innocent people, and then having decided against it for fear of being shot by a very weapons-talented English Lit teacher, they will just give up on their idea of killing people, rather than simply going to a different public space. After all, we could turn every school into a military base, and mass shooters would no doubt find other locations to spray gunfire.

In conclusion: Trump never said teachers should be given guns. That is fake news. He wants them to be issued firearms.

Trump: I Never Said Arm Teachers, But It Would Be Awesome