In a wide-ranging speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Donald Trump suggested how schools should protect themselves against future shootings. Moreover, Trump made his case for immigration reform by reading a poem entitled, “The Snake.”
According to American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp, who introduced Trump, there was a record-setting crowd on hand to watch the 45th president’s remarks, in what happens to be the 45th annual CPAC.
Trump began his address on a self-deprecating light note, commenting about hiding his bald spot.
By his own admission, the president went off-script for significant portions of his speech.
One topic he addressed was last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The president said that after listening to the families of victims and law enforcement officials earlier this week, he believes one necessary response is arming gun-adept teachers and school officials with conceal carry weapons.
“When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in danger,” Trump declared.
He contended that teachers and other school personnel love their students and are in the best place to defend them.
Trump said those who are gun-proficient, like military veterans and sportsmen, probably make up at least 10 or 20 percent of any given school’s faculty.
Trump further argued the added advantage of having designated conceal carry members of the faculty is that potential shooters will not know exactly who they will be facing, which will act as a deterrent.
“A teacher would have shot the hell out of (the Parkland shooter) before he ever knew what happened,” said the president.
Trump also made the case before the very pro-Second Amendment crowd that background checks need to be bolstered and the mentally ill need to be targeted so they cannot obtain weapons.
“We have to really strengthen up background checks,” Trump stated, adding the changes he is proposing are simply “common sense.”
Near the end of his address, Trump pivoted to talking about immigration reform.
“I don’t want people coming in into our country by lottery,” the president stated. “I want people coming into this country based on merit.”
He then noted that the terrorist who killed eight people and injured a dozen in a New York City truck attack last fall came into the country via the lottery system.
Trump read a poem called “The Snake” to illustrate his point.
In the tale, a woman takes in an injured poisonous snake and nurses it back to health, only to be bitten when he regains his strength.
The dying woman pleads with the snake why, to which the retile responds with a grin, “Oh shut up. … You knew d— well I was a snake, before you took me in.'”
Trump also emphasized to the crowd of conservative activists the importance of staying vigilant going into the 2018 midterms.
“You’ve got to keep up the enthusiasm,” Trump exhorted. “We’ve got seven years to go folks.”
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