22 February 2018
The US President has on multiple occasions used the phrase: fight fire with fire.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise to hear one of his proposed solutions to tackle the horrendous level of gun crime in America, specifically school shootings, is to arm teachers with concealed weapons.
Tackling guns in schools by bringing more guns into schools.
His comments came during a listening session with high school students and teachers at the White House yesterday.
Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2016
At first glance it seems that these comments show a real lack of intelligence, especially at this time and in the face of rising public sentiment that the action needed actually centres on limiting access to guns and bringing in stronger gun control laws, rather than putting more in schools.
Of course, it is a topic from which we Brits are far removed after our laws were radically changed following a school shooting. The events at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland in 1996 led to two new firearms acts. We haven’t had an attack like it since.
So what do people directly affected by American gun legislation think? Interestingly, BBC 5 Live spoke to one of the teachers at the school in Florida who had protected 19 students at the shooting. She said she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grab to gun and take action. She, someone who has experienced a school shooting first-hand, believed having a gun would not have helped her at all.
What’s the answer for gun control?
I can’t help but think there’s more to this story. Trump came to power by rallying and empowering a section of the nation. He received an estimated $30m (£21m) from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which infamously advocates gun rights, to help elect him into power. Would Trump taking a real stand against gun ownership therefore pose a risk to the support from this section of the American population and subsequently risk his tenure?
Florida school shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon said that President Donald Trump’s suggestion of arming teachers and school staff with weapons to enhance school safety was a “terrible idea.” https://t.co/pkNbTrwhgt
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2018
Whatever the case, his approval rating has dropped down to a meagre 37% this week according to CNN.
I don’t have the answer to solve America’s problems with gun culture, but what happened to ‘prevention is better than a cure’? In my opinion, this is nowhere near a cure!