A bipartisan meeting took place on Capitol Hill Wednesday where the main topic of discussion was school safety — a hot-button issue in the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
During the meeting, President Donald Trump spoke about the National Rifle Association, the mentally ill owning firearms and, most notably, gun-free zones.
The president, who recently stated that select educators should be armed on school campuses, attacked the notion of gun-free zones and the liberal idea that removing guns from an area makes it safer.
“You’ve gotta have defense, too,” he said during the bipartisan meeting.
As noted by CBS News, Trump also stated that 98 percent of mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. since 1950 have taken place inside of gun-free zones.
Trump’s claim comes from a Crime Prevention Research Center study that used data from 1950 through July 10, 2016, showing that 98.4 percent of mass shootings have occurred in areas where guns are banned.
The commander in chief referenced the Pulse nightclub shooting where 49 individuals lost their lives (not including the shooter).
“As an example, you take Pulse nightclub,” he remarked. “If you had one person in that room that could carry a gun and knew how to use it, it wouldn’t have happened or certainly not to the extent it did when he (the perpetrator) was just in there shooting and shooting and shooting.”
During his opening remarks, Trump also conceded that some people may disagree with his statements and stances, but that he “understands that.”
“If you do (disagree) I want you to speak up today and we’ll listen,” he said.
Trump also brought up the NRA during the meeting, revealing that he met with their leaders over the weekend.
“I’m the biggest fan of the Second Amendment, many of you are,” Trump said.
However, he did mention that both sides of the aisle must come together during this fragile moment and set aside political ideologies in order to work toward the common goal of protecting U.S. citizens from another mass shooting.
“We’ve got to stop this nonsense, it’s time,” he added.
He also touched on the volatile issue regarding the mentally ill’s ability to purchase firearms, stating that another provision might have to be added in order to ensure that guns are taken from their possession “immediately.”
“I think we’ve got to concentrate not just on those who have mental health issues but on those who show a danger to themselves or others,” he told those in attendance.
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