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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is doubling down on an NRA proposal that he first mentioned earlier this week in an emotional meeting with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting.
During the meeting, Trump said he supports arming staff in schools.
“We need to let people know, you come into our schools you’re going to be dead, and it’s going to be fast,” he said.
Friday morning before leaving for CPAC 2018, the president spoke to reporters.
“I haven’t been here a long time and this has been going on for decades but we’re going to get it fixed. The only way you are going to get it fixed is that you have to have a certain degree of offensive power within the school. It can’t only be defense.”
“You have to have protection in the schools and we’re going to work it out. But we are going to be very, very powerful strong on background checks, especially having to do with people with mental problems. This person that did this horrible act, he was mentally deranged and everybody knew it for a long period of time,” he added.
The president also said Scot Peterson, the armed deputy at the school who did not stop the gunman, was either “coward” or “didn’t react properly under pressure.”
“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened,” he said.
The president said teachers who agree to carry a weapon would receive training and financial incentives.
“You give them a little bonus,” the president said during a meeting on school safety on Thursday. Most state and local officials at the meeting did not object. But the president didn’t provide a price tag or propose how school districts with limited resources would pay for it.
There are over three million public school teachers nationwide and four hundred thousand in private schools. Arming 20 percent of them, as Trump suggested Thursday, would mean more than seven hundred thousand people with guns in schools.
“This does not pass any common sense test whatsoever,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association.
The NEA said more guns in schools is not the solution.
“The problem is that dangerous people have very easy access to very dangerous weapons,” said Eskelsen Garcia.
At the school safety meeting on Thursday, Trump pushed back against the idea of active shooter drills in schools.
“I wouldn’t want to tell my son that you’re going to participate in an active shooter drill,” he said. “I think it’s crazy. I think it’s very bad for children.”
The president has also called for the raising of the minimum age to purchase an assault-type weapon to 21, insisting that the NRA would support him despite their current opposition to such a move.