POST TIME: 23 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
US school shootingS
Trump now suggests arming teachers

Trump now suggests 
arming teachers

US President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers to deter mass shootings as he faced broken voices, tears and demands for action at a meeting with survivors of the gun rampage that killed 17 people at a Florida high school, reports AFP from Washington.

Trump also promised "very strong" background checks on gun owners during the poignant "listening session" on Wednesday, in which he heard first-hand accounts from bereaved parents and friends, and schoolchildren who narrowly escaped with their own lives.

As he sat with these people, Trump was photographed holding a piece of paper with notes suggesting questions or other things to say to them.

As seen on the photographs, these included "What would you most want me to know about your experience?" and "I hear you." Social media lit up with criticism of Trump's apparent need for help in sounding compassionate to people who are suffering.

Trump's proposal to arm educators received a cool response, too, from a teacher who survived the shooting as well as the local sheriff at a town hall meeting in Florida.

"A gun-free zone, to a maniac -- because they are all cowards -- a gun-free zone is 'Let's go in and let's attack," Trump said.

"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly," Trump said, suggesting that 20 percent of a school's teachers could be trained to carry concealed weapons.

"This would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a gun," Trump added.

The televised White House meeting came as students staged street protests across the country to demand stricter gun laws following the murder of 14 teens and three teachers at Marjory

Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Holding signs reading “Never Again” and “Be The Adults, Do Something,” teenaged survivors of last Wednesday’s shooting rallied outside the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee.

“No longer can I walk the halls I walked millions of times before without fear and sadness,” Stoneman Douglas student Florence Yared told a crowd that included thousands of supporters.

The White House meeting was attended by Stoneman Douglas students, their parents and also the parents of victims of the Columbine, Sandy Hook and other shootings. Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was among the Stoneman Douglas victims, told Trump he was there “because my daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week.” “We protect airports. We protect concerts, stadiums, embassies,” Pollack said, his voice seething with rage. “I can’t get on a plane with a bottle of water. But we leave some animal to walk into a school.”