President Donald Trump Saturday afternoon tweeted his support for arming educators, saying that doing so would mean "shootings will not happen again."
"Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them," the president said. "Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States."
The tweet echoed comments Trump made during a discussion meeting earlier this week with survivors of the Valentine's Day school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, their families, and family members of people killed in the massacres at Columbine High School in Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
He also said on Friday he favors arming teachers, telling reporters during a White House news conference that he favors arming educators and others inside schools, as officers placed outside schools don't care as much about the students inside.
He pointed to the news that armed security guard Scot Peterson, a Broward County sheriff's deputy, remained outside the school for four minutes while accused shooter Nikolas Cruz was inside, reports CNN.
"We need offensive capability and we are going to be doing something about it," Trump said Friday. "It is very, very important that we have offensive capability, as well as defensive capability, within the schools. You really are inviting people to come in and do whatever."
Trump's call has met with some criticism, including from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who said Friday his focus is on bringing in law enforcement who are well trained with firearms.
The governor's plan calls for a guard for every 1,000 students at every school in Florida by the time the 2018 school year begins later this year. He is also calling for a bump stock ban and for mandatory active shooter training at all schools, with students, teachers and staff completing all training and "code red" drills by the end of the first week of each school semester.
The White House is also considering "red flag laws," which would allow law enforcement to use restraining orders to take firearms away from people considered dangerous to society, two sources told Bloomberg Politics.
The sources said the Trump administration is studying Indiana's version of the law, as well as other measures. California, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington also have such laws.
The idea has bipartisan support and is also embraced by gun-rights groups, as it does not impose new firearms regulations. Under the order, people who have had their guns taken away are not permitted to replace them with other guns.
The Trump administration also looking at encouraging states to enact the laws by tying in grant money, Bloomberg's sources said.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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