WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump met with a group of governors Monday at the White House to discuss ways to end gun violence in America’s schools.
Trump told the governors of 39 states he would have taken action if he had been at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High when confessed shooting suspect 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire.
“You don’t know until you’re tested. But I think, I really believe, I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon. And I think most of the people in this room would have done that too,” he said.
The president all took shots at several Broward Sheriff’s deputies who are being investigated for inaction on that fateful day.
“They weren’t exactly Medal of Honor winners. All right, the way they performed was frankly disgusting. They were listening to what was going on. The one in particular, then you had three others that probably a similar deal, a little bit later but a similar kind of a thing,” said Trump.
To tackle gun violence, Trump has proposed toughening background checks, increasing mental health services, and raising the minimum age to buy most guns to 21.
The president made no mention Monday of raising the age limit for gun purchases during the meeting.
The president also seems focused on putting more guns in schools.
“We have to take steps to harden our schools so that they’re less vulnerable to attack. This includes allowing well-trained and certified school personnel to carry concealed firearms,” he said.
Among those in the room was Florida Gov. Rick Scott who does not agree with the idea of arming teachers. Neither does Washington Gov. Jay Inslee who told the president as much.
“I have listened to the people who would be affected by that. I’ve listened to the biology teachers and they don’t want to do that. I’ve listened to first-grade teachers who don’t want to be pistol-packing first-grade teachers, I’ve listened to law enforcement who said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law enforcement because that takes about six months. I think we need to listen, I think educators should educate and this responsibility should not be foisted upon them,” he said.
Scott said he’s not waiting for the federal government.
“We’re going to invest $500 million, we’re going to have a significant law enforcement presence in every public school in our state,” said Scott.
The president’s call to arm teachers will be heavily debated on Capitol Hill as Congress gets back to work this week.
“98 percent of mass shootings happen in a gun free zone, and we’ve labeled all of our schools as gun free zones. We need to take those labels off,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY.
“Once you’re in the position of hoping that a school security officer or a gym teacher decides to take a pistol to somebody with a military-style assault weapon public policy has failed,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT.
The president said he had lunch with NRA leaders over the weekend and told the governors not to worry about them.
“Half of you are so afraid of NRA,” said Trump. “There is nothing to be afraid of and you know if they’re not with you we have to fight them every once in a while”
The NRA, which strongly supports Trump, does say they disagree with one of his proposals – the idea of raising the gun buying age to 21.