Arming teachers? That's no way to eradicate school shootings, according to Central Illinois administrators and teacher representatives, responding to a suggestion made by President Donald Trump.
The US President has come under fire after suggesting that teachers should carry weapons to prevent another Florida-type shooting.
Teachers' unions were quick to condemn Trump's proposal, with the American Federation of Teachers claiming Trump was in favor of an "arms race" that would "turn schools into militarised fortresses". It's unclear how much funding would be needed to train and arm 20 percent of the country's teaching staff, or where that funding would come from.
Look, he's not suggesting that every gun owning teacher bring in their deer rifle to hide under their desks; he's talking about real-deal, skilled marksmen and women who have been trained and are comfortable handling firearms.
"Can we protect so much with armed security, while we drop our kids off at school, that are so-called gun-free zones, that are wide-open targets for any insane madman bent on evil to come there first?"
President Donald Trump says he wants to see action on a series of gun control measures, saying "Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!" He said later in the meeting, in which Education secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also participated, that the federal government would provide some funding for additional training.
One point all three legislators agreed on was that arming teachers in schools was not the best idea.
Educators are generally against arming teachers, however the popular the idea is with the NRA or certain lawmakers. I mean, they're very close to me; I'm very close to them; they're very, very great people.
"The NRA will back it and so will Congress", Trump contended as he called for raising the legal age of purchase for "all" guns from 18 to 21.More news: Trump Declares New Shipping Sanctions On North Korea
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But Thursday morning, the president put out a barrage of tweets, defending himself and clarifying, "I never said "give teachers guns" like was stated on Fake News".
Parents who had lost their children at Sandy Hook and even as far back as the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado almost two decades ago spoke with a somber gravitas of the issues that need to continue to be addressed - additional attention to mental health issues and stronger background checks, for example.
"They see that as such a attractive target", Trump said.
"This would be a major deterrent because these people are inherently cowards", he said of shooters.
A 19-year-old former student at the school, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with carrying out the shooting.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed last week, took note of previous school massacres and raged over his loss, saying this moment isn't about gun laws, but about fixing the schools.
Trump's online explanation of his proposal differs from the language he used Wednesday at a listening session with survivors and victims' family members from last week's high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
A spokesman for the DOJ said it is "quickly" taking action on the President's order.
"Don't worry, you're getting the wall", he told the Trump-friendly crowd at the annual CPAC meeting near Washington.
The President spoke about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 high school students.