The White House hosted a listening session and that it is considering the implementation of several gun control measures in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that left at least 17 people dead last week.
In addition to the potential of expanded background checks, a ban on “bump stocks” and other firearm modifications that increase the rate of fire, the Trump administration is also contemplating the potential of arming teachers.
Trump: “If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly…but the good thing is you’ll have a lot of [armed] people with that.” pic.twitter.com/wGRSTDK38o
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 21, 2018
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly…but the good thing is you’ll have a lot of [armed] people with that,” the president said.
“Schoolteachers have more than enough responsibilities right now than to have to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life,” retorted Mark Barden, father of a Sandy Hook victim, whose wife is an educator.
“It should have been one school shooting & we should have fixed it,” Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter, Meadow Pollack said. “I’m pissed. Because my daughter — I’m not going to see again. She is not here. She is in North Lauderdale, whatever it is, in King David Cemetery. That is where I go to see my kid now.”
On Tuesday, Parkland high school students visited Tallahassee in order to pressure lawmakers to implement stronger gun control measures, such as the assault weapons ban. The Florida legislature declined to take up the bill.
The LA Times reported pointed out about the history of such “assault weapons bans”:
California was the first state to ban the weapons. It happened in 1989, after a shooter used one to kill five schoolchildren in Stockton. A federal ban went into effect in 1994 and then “sunsetted” in 2004. Today, eight states, including California and New York, have assault weapon bans on their books.
The laws, however, are largely ineffectual. Because these guns are really just ordinary rifles, it is hard for legislators to effectively regulate them without banning half the handguns in the country (those that are semiautomatic and/or have detachable magazines) and many hunting rifles as well.
There was a federal study commissioned by the Department of Justice that concluded the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban did not work:
The nationwide federal ban on assault weapons did accomplish one thing: According to the 2004 study, fewer of the banned guns were found at crime scenes (down from 2% of guns recovered to 1%). Although this suggests that gun laws affect the inventory of guns in the marketplace — again, contrary to the claims of the NRA — the study’s authors concluded that criminals had just switched to other guns.
In addition, FBI Crime Statistics show that all rifles combined — “assault rifles,” hunting rifles, all rifles — account for 250 firearms homicides per year. By comparison, handguns account for nine times as many murders as all other firearms combined.
North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill to arm teachers in the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The recommendation came at a meeting of a school safety committee.
“This is not a pro-gun committee,” said Rep. John Torbett. “This is not an anti-gun committee. This is a committee looking at the safety and security of our children in school.”
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