President Trump participates in a listening session with the survivors of the Florida school shooting and other victims of school shootings held at the White House on Wednesday:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, thank you, too. And I will say, again, background checks are going to be very strong. We need that. And then, after we do that, when we see this trouble, we have to nab them.
You know, years ago, we had mental hospitals, mental institutions -- we had a lot of them, and a lot of them have closed. They've closed -- some people thought it was a stigma. Some people thought, frankly, it was -- the legislators thought it was too expensive.
Today, if you catch somebody, they don't know what to do with them. He hasn't committed the crime, but he may very well, and there's no mental institution. There's no place to bring him.
We have that a lot. Even -- if they caught this person -- I'm being nice when I use the word "person" -- they probably wouldn't have known what to do. They're not going to put him in jail. And yet -- so there's no -- that middle ground of having that institution, where you had trained people that could handle it and do something about it and find out how sick he really is. Because he is a sick guy, and he should have been nabbed a number of times, frankly.
Your concept and your idea about school concealed carry -- and it's -- it only works where you have people very adept at using firearms, of which you have many, and -- who would be teachers and coaches -- if the coach had a firearm in his locker, when he ran at this guy -- that coach was very brave -- saved a lot of lives, I suspect.
But, if he had a firearm, he wouldn't have had to run. He would have shot, and that would have been the end of it. And this would only be, obviously, for people that are very adept at handling a gun. And it would be -- it's called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them.
They'd go for special training, and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. "Gun-free zone," to a maniac -- because they're all cowards -- a gun-free zone is "Let's go in and let's attack, because bullets aren't coming back at us."
And if you -- if you do this -- and a lot of people are talking about it -- it's certainly a point that we'll discuss -- but concealed carry for teachers and for people of talent -- of that type of talent -- so let's say you had 20 percent of your teaching force -- because that's pretty much the number -- and you said it -- an attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes.
It takes five to eight minutes for responders -- for the police to come in. So the attack is over. If you had a teacher with -- who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.
And the good thing about a suggestion like that -- and we're going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it; I think a lot of people are going to like it.
But the good thing is that you'll have a lot of people with that. You know, you can't have 100 security guards in Stoneman Douglas. That's a big school. It's a massive school with a lot of acreage to cover, a lot of floor area.
And so that would be, certainly, a situation that is being discussed a lot by a lot of people. You'd have a lot of people that'd be armed, that'd be ready. They're professionals. There may be Marines that left the Marines, left the Army, left the Air Force and they're very adept at doing that. You'd have a lot of them, and they'd be spread evenly throughout the school. TRUMP: So the other thing -- I really believe that, if these cowards knew that that was -- that the school was, you know, well-guarded from the standpoint of having, pretty much, professionals with great training, I think they wouldn't go into the school to start off with. I think it could very well solve your problem.
So we'll be doing the background checks. We'll be doing a lot of different things, but we'll certainly be looking at ideas like that.
You know, a lot of people don't understand that airline pilots now, a lot of them carry guns. And I have to say that things have changed a lot. People aren't attacking the way they would routinely attack, and maybe you have the same situation in schools. So does anybody like that idea here? Does anybody like it? Right? Yes? From Meadow, your beautiful Meadow. We talked about that.
And do people feel strongly against it? Anybody? Anybody? Strongly against it? All right, I -- I could look. We could understand both sides of, and certainly, it's controversial. But we'll study that, along with many other ideas.
Anybody else, something to say? Yes, go ahead.
(UNKNOWN): I -- I've been in thousands of schools across America, and I -- I'm -- I've noticed, in -- in Israel, they have one guard entry point, and it's very well guarded. I'm not asking for us to (inaudible). I'm not saying we should turn our schools into prisons, but I've been in so many schools where I'm speaking in an auditorium, and I'll go outside to call my wife, or to just get a -- a breath of fresh air, and it is so easy for me to get back into that school. I'm an unknown adult to many of those students. I can tap on a window, and they'll open the door for me, or I can catch someone coming out the side door, and easily get in.
So one of the things that I -- that I have thought a lot about in seeing this around the country is we have really soft entry points into schools.
Watch the full event: