Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday February 25, 2018
President Trump at CPAC Insists Arming Teachers, Not Gun Control, Will Keep Schools Safe
President Donald Trump reiterated his support for arming teachers during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday morning, saying that keeping guns out of schools makes them targets for mass shooters.
“When we declare our schools to be gun free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger,” said Trump. “People that are adept with weaponry and with guns — they teach. I don’t want to have 100 guards with rifles standing all over the school. You do a concealed carry permit.”
Other than one mention of “strengthening” background checks, Trump did not talk about the ideas for tighter gun control that he has floated in the last week – including raising the age of purchasing some weapons and banning bump stocks. The National Rifle Association, which was an early backer of Trump’s and channeled over $30 million towards supporting his campaign, opposes raising the age limit.
The speech seemed in line with many of the talking points of NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who went on the offensive on Thursday on the same CPAC stage, accusing gun control advocates of exploiting last week’s Florida school shooting tragedy.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, killing 17 people. In the days following, Trump pledged to take action to help prevent more school shootings in America, inviting those who have experienced school shootings to the White House. He reiterated his call to action on Friday, telling the audience, “We will act. We will do something.” (Source: TIME)