Trump hears from governors as gun control debate dominates Washington

Governors join gun control debate

Last Updated Feb 26, 2018 6:52 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- For the third time in a week, President Trump held a listening session at the White House about protecting schoolkids from gun violence. This time, he heard from the nation's governors.

During that session, Mr. Trump insisted that he personally would have barged into the school under fire to take on the Parkland, Florida, shooter.

"I say the only way you stop it is retribution. I don't think you're going to stop it by being kind," Mr. Trump said. "I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon."

Trump on Florida shooting: "I would run in there even if I didn't have a weapon"

The president urged a roomful of governors to take up his NRA-supported idea of arming some educators -- and used a golf analogy to describe those who perform well under pressure.

"How come some people always make the four-footer and some people under pressure can't even take their club back?" Mr. Trump asked.

Washington's Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said teachers are not interested in firearms.

"Educators should educate. And they should not be foisted upon this responsibility of packing heat in first-grade classes," Inslee said. "So I'd just suggest we need a little less tweeting here and a little more listening. And let's just take that off the table and move forward."

The president held up programs in states like Texas and Arkansas as a model, yet on the federal level, Republican congressional leaders remain reluctant to craft laws requiring arming school staff.

Trump: "Don't worry about the NRA, they're on our side"

Other initiatives like raising the age limit for weapons purchases or banning assault rifles also face long odds in Congress. That leaves state governors to act faster. And Mr. Trump urged them not to fear the gun lobby.

"Don't worry about the NRA. They're on our side," he said. "Half of you are so afraid of the NRA. There's nothing to be afraid of. And you know what? If they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while. That's OK."

The White House said that while the president did not reiterate his call to raise the age limit for firearms purchases to 21, he still supports the concept. He also denied that a Sunday meeting with the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre had softened his stance.

Lawmakers will visit Washington on Wednesday.

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  • Margaret Brennan

    Margaret Brennan is moderator of CBS News' "Face The Nation" and CBS News' senior foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C.