Pres. Trump proposes bonuses for ‘highly adept’ teachers who get gun training

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US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials on school safety in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  President Donald Trump spent Thursday grappling with how to prevent more school massacres and address the gun debate gripping the country, offering solutions such as giving bonuses to teachers who undergo gun training.

“These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns — it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus,” President Trump said. “They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus.”

He repeated his suggestion that some teachers get trained to handle firearms as a deterrent to shooters and disparaged “gun-free zones.”

“I don’t want teachers to have guns. I want certain highly adept people — people that understand weaponry, guns. If they really have that aptitude — because not everybody has aptitude for gun — but if they have the aptitude, I think a concealed permit for having teachers and letting people know that there are people in the building with guns, you won’t have — in my opinion — you won’t have these shootings,” the President Trump said.

Gun-free zones, meanwhile, are appealing to criminals, he said.

“We have to harden those schools, not soften them. A gun-free zone, to a killer, or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream. That’s like saying, ‘Here I am, take me,’ ” President Trump said at the White House.

“They see that as such a beautiful target,” President Trump said. “They live for gun-free zones.”

He also disparaged school shooting drills, saying they were tough on the kids.

“Active shooter drills is a very negative thing, I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “I think that’s a very negative thing to be talking about. I don’t like it. I don’t want to tell my son ‘you’re going to have to participate in an active shooter drill. I’d much rather have a hardened school.”

President Trump also promoted the idea of increasing the age limit of those who can purchase semi-automatic rifles from age 18 to age 21 as well as looking at the possibility of committing people like the Florida shooter to mental institutions.

“I said this yesterday when we had a mental institution where you take a sicko like this guy — he was a sick guy, so many signs — and you bring him to a mental health institution, those institutions are largely closed because communities didn’t want him,” President Trump said.

The president also blamed violence in video games and movies as partly responsible for shaping young people’s thoughts.

“They’re so violent,” President Trump said.

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