President Donald Trump continues to insist on making his bad idea to arm teachers a reality.
Earlier this week, Trump proposed training teachers to carry firearms in schools across the country during a meeting with survivors of the Parkland school shooting. He then doubled down on his proposal on Twitter after receiving a wave of criticism.
On Friday, Trump derailed his own idea by criticizing the Broward County deputy who failed to confront the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. If a highly trained police officer didn’t have the nerve to hunt down the gunman, there is no way a teacher will be able to do it with far less training.
Trump’s idea to arm teachers also drew criticism because there have been several examples over the years of teachers shooting themselves accidentally at school.
Luckily, there were no students in the classrooms at the time of the shootings but it raises serious concerns. All it takes is one accidentally discharged bullet to end a life. Putting guns in classrooms increases the risk that gun accidents will kill kids.
Plus, teachers are already stressed out enough in class. If an armed teacher snaps, their weapon could end up being used to threaten or intimidate students, and that’s not to mention the fact that a student could end up accessing that weapon to use in the school.
The risk is just simply too high.
But Trump took to Twitter again on Saturday to promise that arming teachers will bring a permanent end to school shootings.
Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Guns in school will not stop school shootings. Shooters will just target teachers first, and that’s assuming teachers will be able to get their guns in time to prevent killings or won’t freeze during the crisis.
Trump’s tweet also goes against a claim he made during the 2016 campaign.
Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2016
Clearly, Trump lied.
Arming teachers would also not be an “inexpensive deterrent.” Taxpayers would be asked to foot the bill for training, and that would cost millions upon millions of dollars every year. And keep in mind that this would apply to every school in the country. And most teachers can hardly afford school supplies let alone a gun.
According to The Washington Post, 718,000 teachers would have to be armed under Trump’s proposal, and the cost for the bare minimum of training would be $71.8 million. More intense training would cost 10 times as much, a whopping $718 million.
If taxpayers and schools supplied guns to the teachers, that would at least add an additional $250 million. Guns in school would also require higher insurance rates, which would also raise annual costs.
Passing laws such as comprehensive background checks, age restrictions, and even a ban on assault weapons would be far less expensive and less complicated. Plus, there’s less risk of teachers shooting themselves or their students and lets schools focus on education instead of security.
In the end, Trump can’t possibly keep his promise that school shootings will never happen again if we arm teachers. It’s a bad idea that will be a financial burden in every state. The only way to prevent these shootings is to make sure access to guns is more restricted.
Nowhere is this truer than in the United Kingdom, which has not experienced a school shooting since 1996 after passing a handgun ban.
Donald Trump would be wise to consider common sense gun control instead of lobbying for a proposal that is opposed by teachers and law enforcement alike. But Trump is apparently too busy being owned by the NRA to pursue real solutions.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot.