President Donald Trump had an important message for survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting and the families of the victims.
For nearly two hours on Wednesday, Trump — accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — hosted a listening session where survivors and family members could suggest ways to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.
Trump pledged to focus on mental health and tighten background checks for firearm purchases. But this time, he promised action, not just words.
“It’s not going to be talk like it has been in the past,” Trump said, according to USA Today. “We’re going to talk and get it done. It’s been going on too long. Too many instances, and we’re going to get it done.”
He also suggested that he would approve raising the age to buy assault weapons and work to implement stricter background checks.
“We’re going to be very strong on background checks,” Trump said. “We’re going to go strong on age of purchase and the mental aspect.”
Trump has indeed already taken action in the wake of the shooting, directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ban bump fire stocks, a firearm accessory that increases the rate of fire.
“Just a few moments ago I signed a memo directing the attorney general to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” the president said Tuesday, as reported by CNN. “I expect these regulations to be finalized … very soon.”
Trump’s action on bump stocks received praise from several of the student survivors in attendance at the listening session.
“I appreciate you looking at the bump stocks yesterday,” said one female student, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Thank you for everything,” said another student, Jonathan Blank. “You’ve done a great job and I like the direction that you’re going in.”
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to expand on his plan to ensure that deranged individuals can’t obtain firearms.
As The Western Journal reported, Trump also suggested Wednesday that by allowing some teachers to be armed with firearms, it might be possible to avoid school shootings. According to the president, if Aaron Feis — the football coach who sacrificed his own life to save students — had been armed, he may have been able to completely eliminate the threat posed by the shooter.
“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 would not have had to run,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post.
“He would have shot and that would be the end of it,” Trump added.
Trump indicated that only about 20 percent of teachers — those who are “adept” with firearms — should be armed.
“This would be obviously only for people who were 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,” he said
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