Donald Trump calls for arming many teachers, more guards at schools


WASHINGTON (AP) — Urging the arming of many teachers and school security guards, President Donald Trump said Friday the armed officer who didn’t stop the gunman who carried out last week’s Florida massacre was either a “coward” or “didn’t react properly under pressure.”

Departing the White House for the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump told reporters that “when it came time to get in there and do something,” Florida deputy Scot Peterson “didn’t have the courage or something happened.”

“He certainly did a poor job, there’s no question about that,” Trump said. He repeated his criticism at the conference.

Long supported by the National Rifle Association, the president has sought to maintain his backing among gun rights activists even as he has called for strengthening background checks and raising the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles in the wake of the mass killing.


Turning to this year’s elections, Trump told conservative activists at CPAC that Republicans must not be complacent in the fall midterms, warning of terrible consequences if Democrats take control of Congress.

Trump predicted Democrats would “take away those massive tax cuts,” referencing to his signature tax law signed in December, “and they will take away your Second Amendment.” Trump then surveyed the audience of conservatives on which issue was more important to them, and listened as the crowd cheered loudly in support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Basking in the glow of some of his most hard-core supporters, Trump argued that his administration has kept his campaign promises, boasting as he often does that he “had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.”

And he re-aired themes from his 2016 campaign, citing a “very crooked media, we had a crooked candidate, too, by the way,” referencing former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The crowd chanted, “lock her up,” a common refrain at Trump campaign rallies.

Trump’s speech at CPAC came at the end of a week that included meetings with students and teachers and state and local officials on ways to bolster school safety and address gun violence. Trump said the “evil massacre” of 17 people at a Florida high school last week had “broken our hearts.”

Trump said designating schools as “gun-free zones” puts students in “far more danger.” He reiterated his push for “gun-adept teachers and coaches” to be able to carry concealed firearms and said it was “time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers — we don’t want them in our schools.”

If a teacher had been carrying a concealed firearm at the Florida school, “the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened,” Trump said.

Officials announced Thursday that deputy Scot Peterson never went inside to engage the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooting was underway. Peterson has resigned.

“It was a real shot to the police department,” Trump said before leaving the White House. “This could have been prevented.”

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • DIS2012

    Well, Trump did exhibit considerable courage by enduring his own “personal Vietnam,” while other young men were facing bullets.

  • Jon Mennealy

    It’s nice to know Trump can foresee what would happen, and with such certainty, if a teacher had a gun. “The teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.” Who really knows? Maybe the kid would have gotten the teacher first, and got more upset that he was being attacked, and killed more before exiting the school. Trump likes to paint his pictures with such so rosy assurance. “It’ll be the best gun you’ve ever seen.” “You’re going to love it.” “It’ll be like no other gun anyone has ever used, and it will be beautiful.” Always the best scenario. It seems to work, because I haven’t seen anyone challenge anything he’s done so far, right?

  • Gaga Bump

    Trump is right. We need more guns in schools with properly trained citizens. More gun laws are not going to stop criminals. The only thing that will stop them is more guns in the hands of people brave enough to act.

    • CruiserSailor

      There was an armed security guard and four Broward County Deputy Sheriffs all “properly trained” hiding outside behind a cruiser while the killing of 17 people was in progress. Perhaps if this crazed individual didn’t have a high powered ,223 caliber, semi-automatic assault weapon with multiple high capacity clips all those “properly trained” cops would have mustered up the courage to attack. Can you please tell me how you can judge who will be brave enough to act? Arming teachers is lunacy!

    • Rene Veilleux


  • Thomas Knight

    I can see the next best-seller: Kids in Crossfire

  • Thomas Knight

    Private Bone Spurs just seems to know so much about this, don’t you think we should blindly follow him?

  • Rene Veilleux

    Cadet Bone Spurs sure knows how to engender confidence, non?