The Parkland, FL shooting has ignited the passionate gun debate yet again. Both Democrats and Republicans are offering solutions to stop these attacks from happening in the future.
President Donald Trump hosted a listening session following the shooting to hear from past survivors of school shootings.
At this meeting, Trump discussed a possible resolution that has been proven effective in the airline sector.
“If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” said Trump. “This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’ “
Trump mentioned that like in the airline industry, the knowledge that pilots are armed has become a deterrent for those considering an attack.
“You know, a lot of people don’t understand that airline pilots now, a lot of them carry guns, and I have to say that things have changed a lot. People aren’t attacking the way they would routinely attack and maybe you would have the same situation in schools,” said Trump.
One of the heroes of the Parkland tragedy is the football coach Aaron Feis, who used his body as a human shield to protect a student during the shooting.
Trump pointed out that this tragedy could have had a different ending if the coach was equipped with his own firearm.
“If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy – that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect,” said Trump. “But if he had a firearm, he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot him, and that would have been the end of it. This would only obviously be for people who are very adept at handling a gun. It’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac, because they’re all cowards, a gun-free zone is: ‘Let’s go in and let’s attack, because bullets aren’t coming back at us’.”
Trump asked everyone in attendance at the meeting if they liked the idea and several of the victims and parents of victims and survivors raised their hands.
However, this is a controversial solution.
Advocates for stricter gun-control laws argue that guns have no place being in schools, period.
“It’s not personally something that I support. Rather than arming them with a firearm, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place,” said Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan died in the Sandy Hook shooting. “Let’s talk about prevention. There is so much that we can do to help people before it reaches that point, and I urge you please stay focused on that as well. It is the gun, it’s the person behind the gun and it’s about helping people before they ever reach that point.”
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, expressed similar sentiments.
“Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence. Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms,” said Garcia. “We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of those who want to use them to massacre innocent children and educators. Arming teachers does nothing to prevent that.”
Some believe arming teachers could lead to other issues.
“There are so many things that could go wrong,” said Delaney Tarr, a 17-year-old senior who survived the Parkland shooting. “We are not a prison. We are not a police force.”
The debate has inspired the teacher-driven #ArmMeWith movement.
“Arm me with the resources and funding needed to help students experiencing mental health issues, not guns,” urges the #ArmMeWith movement.
But a father of a Stoneman Douglas High student, where the Parkland massacre occurred, believes guns could offer the protection needed and suggested arming personnel or having undercover officers in the school as solutions.
Trump also said he would take a “very strong” stance on background checks on gun buyers, along with strengthening mental health resources.
“We’re here because my daughter has no voice – she was murdered last week, shot nine times,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland shooting. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me.”
In Texas, two school districts have armed teachers and the superintendent avidly defend the policy.
Author’s note: Arming certain teachers who are competent and comfortable with guns will help solve the problem. This could create other problems, but it will definitely deter attacks. The anti-gun rhetoric is a strong movement, so it won’t be easy to implement these policies.
Editor’s note: Other suggested solutions, gun control, increasing FBI presence, mental health measures, etc. just do not solve the problem directly. Trump’s proposal does solve the problem.