President Donald J. Trump hosts a listening session with high school students and teachers | February 21, 218 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

POTUS wants to propose offensive capabilities and authorize the teachers to bring guns into classrooms but if that happens, what we will do when one day the teacher starts shooting at the children?

On Friday, in a joint press conference with the Australian PM, the American President shared his thoughts on the steps he would like to undertake regarding the offensive capabilities of schools, in response to the gun shooting in Florida.

On a day the families of the dead children visited the White House –where they were awaited by the POTUS holding card notes to keep himself on script– Donald J Trump made it known that a solution he is offering goes toward the militarization of the high schools.

“Frankly, you have teachers that are Marines for 20 years, they retire and become a teacher. They’re Army, Navy, Air Force, they’re Coast Guard, they’re people who have won shooting contests for whatever, this is what they do. They know guns, they understand guns. And I frankly have been reading a lot about it and I think when you allow a person who’s been in the Marines for 20 years who’s done nothing but handle guns and handles them safely and well because you can’t just give a teacher a gun. One of the fake news networks, CNN, said I want teachers to have guns. I don’t want teachers to have guns, I want certain highly adept people that understand weaponry, guns, if they really have that aptitude, because not everybody has an aptitude for a gun, I think a concealed permit for teachers and letting people know there are people in the building with a gun, you won’t have, in my opinion, you won’t have these shootings. Because these people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20 percent of the teachers have guns. It may be 10 percent, it may be 40 percent.

Now what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus, we give them a little bit of a bonus, because frankly, they’d feel more comfortable having the gun anyway, you give them a little bit of a bonus, so practically for free you’ve now made the school into a hardened target.

For instance, if the coaches, who I guarantee have plenty of experience with weapons, if they have guns, you need it hard. Because no matter what you do, you keep it gun-free, they’ll be able to get in there, they’ll crawl through the back of a window or something, and you’re going to have everybody again without any protection. So I know where you stand on it. You want a hardened school, and I want a hardened school too”

Telling the families who have just lost their children that allowing more guns in the school system is a viable solution is irresponsible, especially since on the day of the shooting the White House canceled the press briefing in an attempt to avoid responding to the questions regarding the gun control from the press corps.

Offensive capabilities of school system

In the East Room on Feb 23rd POTUS went even further by stating that ”we need offensive capabilities” as if he was talking about the military strategy the nation should employ. This use of military language in the civilian environment is concerning as instead of providing measures that will rump up professional security in high schools across America and install metal detectors, he wants now to arm the teachers.

POTUS said that he wants to authorize the teachers to bring guns into classrooms but if that happens, what we will do when one day the teacher starts shooting at the children?

A New York native whose children are guarded 24 hours by the most elite Secret Service, is proposing a measure that treats America as a wild wild west.

Guns in a classroom is never a good idea as it may lead to the intimidation of children and these teachers can use that fact to coerce children and exercise power and superiority over them.

The offensive capability measure POTUS is proposing would not be evenly distributed across the schools in America as not every school would have the same number and the same level of expertise among the teachers capable to respond with guns. A school that has a former SEAL as a teacher and a school that has just someone who has been trained for guns won’t have a standardized level of safety and so-called “offensive capability”.

Even if we arm teachers and rump up “offensive capabilities” like POTUS proposes, it won’t address the problem at its source.

There is no message sent to the killers, there is no tough measure taken after the shooting to make it hard for any future killings to happen.

We are not addressing killers, we are not addressing triggers for violence nor we are taking any comprehensive steps to increase security.

Schools should have professional security and clearly defined security parameters so, in that way, any potential killer would know that just walking into the campus with a gun would not be easy.

With or without the 2nd amendment, with or without gun control, what needs to be done is a measure of increased security on school sites.  

Terrorism can exploit security vulnerabilities in schools and campuses and start targeting soft targets. If we were to prevent terrorism, we would allocate the professional security to the targeted sites. Why are we then not doing anything to secure high school targets from the mass shootings?

Response to mass shootings should be addressed as a response to the terrorist attack or any other kind of life-threatening situation.

What we have learned from these shootings is that the killers target students at the school sites they can easily access – where there is a very little to no security in place.

Today is the gun, but the next time can be a bomb or any other type of weapon so even if the gun control measure is introduced, what needs to be done is an increase of the onsight security.

What needs to be done is a comprehensive standardization of security that will assure that each school has security ready to respond to any possible incident and also introduce secured parameters of access that will make difficult for a shooter to access areas with children.

Also, guns should not be admitted into the school area, with or without the license. We take the same measures at concerts, the White House, and any other event. We cannot keep the schools vulnerable, as what the killer is exploiting is the easy access to children.

In my view, the reason for the frequency of school shootings is that the killer knows that this is the easiest access to children. The gun itself is a problem but not the primary problem. The prima facie problem is the easy, unsecured access to students which cannot be fixed by arming teachers.  

Before we get to the gun control measures, which will take a long time, an immediate step would be to secure the schools and make it hard for anyone to just walk in with a gun and start shooting. That’s why professional security measures should be put in place. If people cannot enter the Trump Tower in the middle of Manhattan with a gun, why then the high schools should be an exception?

Read also: Elephant In The Room: America’s Violent Culture

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