On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets attempting to defend a point raised in another tweet from 2016 that suggested he was not in favor of arming teachers as a solution to school shootings.

Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2016

In his Thursday morning tweets, however, Trump still proposed arming teachers, with the caveat that they must be “adept” and have “military or training experience.”

I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

Trump added that a “‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”

….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

….History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

To the president, arming teachers is the way to solve the nationwide epidemic of mass school shootings.

….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

It is the same solution he gave to the victims and their families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting during a listening session at the White House Wednesday.

“This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.”

Trump added that only 20 percent of teachers would be armed.

Not everyone at the listening session agreed with this approach.

Nicole Hockley lost her six-year-old son in 2011 during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. She told the president she would rather prevent school shootings from happening in the first place, without the use of firearms.

“Let’s talk about prevention,” Hockley said. “There is so much we can do to help this person before we reach this point.”

Opponents of arming teachers are right to criticize the approach — because it doesn’t work.

A comprehensive study by the Violence Policy Center found guns “are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.” In 2012, “for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 32 criminal homicides,” researchers concluded. Another study by the University of Pennsylvania found that someone carrying a gun is “4.46 times more likely to be shot in an assault.”

Training and providing 1 in 5 American teachers with a gun is expensive too. According to analysis from the Washington Post, providing robust training for 718,000 teachers would cost roughly $718 million dollars. Adding in the cost of a Glock G17, heralded as the “world’s most popular pistol,” for 718,00 teachers would bring the total to just over $1 billion dollars.

Teachers themselves don’t want to be armed either. Josh Grubbs, a gun aficionado assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, posted a series of tweets laying out his concerns.

Guys, I’m a college professor.

I’ve also been shooting guns my entire life and own multiple guns now.

I don’t trust myself to be able to capably defend a classroom against a shooter, and I’m a good shot.

Why would we expect teachers everywhere to bear this responsibility?

— Josh Grubbs (@JoshuaGrubbsPhD) February 21, 2018

President Trump ended his Thursday morning Twitter rant by stating he supports raising the age of eligibility to buy an AR-15 style weapon from 18 to 21 and banning bump stocks. The president also tweeted he is in favor of comprehensive background checks with an “emphasis on mental health,” despite rolling back an Obama-era regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill individuals during his second month in office.

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