US President Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre, the deputy head of the National Rifle Association (NRA), suggested arming teachers and other school administrators in the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida and amid a clamour for gun control.
Addressing law enforcement and education officials at the White House, Trump said he wanted “certain highly adept people” to carry weapons inside schools.
He suggested that teachers who undergo training in guns should receive “a little bit of a bonus” and that arming them would be more effective than hiring 100 or so security guards.|
Addressing delegates at the Conservative Political Action Conference, LaPierre denied that NRA led to derailment of legislative gun control efforts.
He said Democratic leaders, “cheered on by the national media,” politicised the shooting “to control the Second Amendment [right to bear arms] so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”
He echoed Trump’s call for armed teachers and security personnel in schools, saying the so-called gun-free zones are open targets for shooters.
Democrats tried to conveniently ignore the failure of the FBI to prevent the Florida school shooting despite the agency being alerted by an email on the shooter, he said.
Later in the day, FBI’s acting deputy director David Bowdich acknowledged that protocols had not been properly followed when a person close to the confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz came forward in January with reports of Cruz’s erratic behaviour and desire to kill people.
Speaking at a Justice Department press briefing, Bowdich said the processes were in place but they were not followed, adding that the bureau is now working to rebuild trust among US citizens.
Trump is attempting to show that he is serious about security in schools without upsetting the pro-gun base.
On Thursday, he called for stronger background checks and a ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire faster.