US president Trump believes the solution to school shootings is more guns in schools
The survivors of the school shooting in Florida, the US, are readying to march to Washington, DC in support of gun control. The momentum is very much for it at the moment—many gun-owners are themselves rethinking gun ownership, as the viral video of a gun-owner destroying his weapon shows. However, the National Rifle Association (NRA), the US’s most prominent gun lobby body, has mounted stiff resistance. At such a time, even as his fellow Republicans lawmakers are being challenged to stop accepting NRA donations, US president Donald Trump first proposed that teachers be given guns to defend against school shootings, subsequently denied it and then contradicted himself by tweeting in favour of such a move. Clearly, the president’s solution to school shootings is ‘more guns in schools’. At an emotionally charged, though calm, listening session with some survivors of the Florida shooting and others affected by gun violence, Trump advocated a “concealed carry” policy for teachers who would have first received “special training”.
What Trump’s remarks, and that of many of his Republican colleagues and even a handful of Democrat lawmakers show, no matter how many survivors march to the US capital, things are unlikely to change. Florida’s Republican senator Marco Rubio told his constituents—among them, the father of a student who was killed in the latest massacre—that he would not stop accepting NRA contributions. That effectively translates into a quid pro quo when it comes to fending off the groundswell for gun control. Meanwhile, many pro-gun-lobby media houses have started a smear campaign against the student-survivors’ campaign for introducing gun controls. The best the pro-gun-freedom collective is offering is stricter background checks and longer waiting periods for firearm approvals, at the most, and banning the particular firearm used in this shooting at the least. The need, however, is to ensure that schools, that are designated as gun-free zones in that country, are gun-free zones in reality.