President Trump doubled down on his calls to arm teachers in schools across the country in an effort to help prevent mass shootings from taking place. He suggested during the administration's most recent White House listening session with state and local officials that teachers who were trained in being "adept at guns" could receive a bonus for their training efforts.
"We have to harden our schools, not soften them up. A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that's like going in for the ice cream. Like here I am -- take me," he said.
He added, "Shooters won't walk into a school if 20% of people have guns."
While the president has signaled he would be open to raising the age limit of those who can purchase high-capacity weapons as well as announce a proposal to draft regulations that would ban "bump stock" devices, he spent much of the morning and afternoon session expressing his interest in arming teachers.
Mr. Trump suggested in a series of tweets on Thursday that he would be open to exploring the idea of "gun adept teachers with military or special training experience" being able to carry concealed weapons at schools as a deterrence to prevent shootings.
He brought up those claims at Thursday's session, suggesting that "highly adept" teachers that do carry "we give them a bonus" adding that armed teachers would need training and should be paid extra money. He backed that up by saying it was "much less expensive than the guards" and would more effective.
"You come into our schools you're gonna be dead. And it's gonna be fast," he said. "I want my schools protected like my banks are protected," he added.
As the meeting came to a close, the president was asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting - he said no, and that they'd be "experts."
Asked whether he'd provide federal funding for the armed teachers program, he said he would be opening to considering such funding for training.