During a meeting Wednesday with students from a high school in Florida where 17 people were killed last week, President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers with guns and placing armed guards in schools, directly contradicting a statement he once tweeted about allowing guns in classrooms.
In May 2016, Trump responded to his then-Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that she was “wrong” in thinking he wanted “guns brought into the school classroom.”
Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2016
Trump’s statement appears to have been a response to Clinton’s tweet a week earlier declaring that Trump “would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office.”
FACT: Donald Trump would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office. https://t.co/Y1YSjDDUXC
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 14, 2016
Even during his presidential campaign, Trump advocated for reversing “gun free zones” in schools. In a January 2016 interview with Petersen’s Hunting magazine, Trump said he would be willing to bypass the laws of states, which oversee public schools, to eliminate the zones.
“I’m gonna get rid of the gun free zones on the military bases. I’m also gonna do it at schools,” Trump said at the time. “If I have to, I’m gonna try and perhaps override the states.”
At the meeting on Wednesday, Trump met with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as well as students from other school shooting sites Newtown and Columbine. During a discussion on gun control measures, Trump suggested allowing concealed carry for teachers would prevent future mass shootings.
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said.
President Trump on concealed carry for teachers: "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly." pic.twitter.com/dQWl1foLii
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 21, 2018
Trump also proposed placing armed military retirees in schools as guards, which is the same idea being spread in a popular Facebook meme.