Trump wants teachers to get paid more if they carry a gun.
President Trump on Thursday repeated his call to arm teachers to prevent mass school shootings — saying that as many as 40 percent of a school’s educators could pack heat and get bonuses for their efforts to keep kids safe.
“I want certain highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns … [and] a concealed [carry] permit” for teachers to carry guns on school property, the president said during a White House sitdown with members of his cabinet, lawmakers and Mayor Christine Hunschofsky of Parkland, Florida.
Fourteen students and three staffers were gunned down at a high school there by a 19-year-old former student armed with an assault rifle last week.
Trump said the armed educators should get “a little bit of a bonus” and mentioned 10 percent, 20 percent and 40 percent as possible numbers of teachers who would qualify for the “rigorous training” that would be required.
School security guards alone are not the answer, he added.
“You can’t hire enough security guards … You need 100, 150 security guards. But you could have concealed [guns] on the teacher,” Trump said.
The president also called for tighter security to protect schools.
“I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected. We have to harden our sites. If you harden the sites, you’re not going to have this problem. When you say this school is gun-free … that’s what they [shooters] want to hear. We have to harden or schools, not soften them up,” he said.
Trump again lamented that mental hospitals had been closed, leaving people with serious mental illness to wander the streets and pose a threat to law-abiding citizens.
“Part of the problem is we used to have mental institutions. We had a mental institution where you take a sicko like this guy, he was a sick guy, so many signs, and you bring him to a mental health institution,” he said about alleged Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.
“Those institutions are largely closed because communities didn’t want them, communities didn’t want to spend the money for them, so you don’t have any intermediate ground,” he continued.
“You can’t put them in jail because he hasn’t done anything yet, but you know he’s going to do something. So we’ll be talking seriously about opening mental health institutions again.”
Trump singled out New York state for criticism.
“I can tell you in New York, the governors in New York did a very, very bad thing when they closed our mental institutions, so many of them. You have these people living on the streets, and I can say that in many cases throughout the country, they’re very dangerous,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be there. When you have some person like this, you can bring them into a mental institution and they can see what they can do, but we’ve got to get them out of our communities.”
The president also offered some rare praise for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who attended along with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, chief of staff John Kelly and top aide Kellyanne Conway.
“You’re doing a great job on the gangs,” he told Sessions before ripping the violent street gang MS-13.
“We’re also after the gangs. The gangs have been incredible. MS-13. They’re killing people, not necessarily with guns, because that’s not painful enough. This is what they think. They want to do it more painfully and they want to do it slowly, so they cut them up with knives,” Trump said.
“And we’re getting them out by the thousands. Putting them in jail, and we’re getting them out by the thousands.”
He also hailed ICE agents and border security guards for their toughness.