Having long ago abandoned his pledge to press for a whole host of reasonable gun limits, President Trump never dropped one idea he’s positively sure is a life-saver: arming some school staffers.
On Twitter earlier this year, he called putting guns in the hands of teachers a “GREAT DETERRENT” that “would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive.”
“Instead of advertising ‘this school has no guns, we are gun free,’ you let people know the opposite, nobody’s going to attack that school, believe me,” he says. “ATTACKS WOULD END!” because “the cowards that do this” would be scared away.
Let’s examine how the theory works in reality.
In Texas, Santa Fe High School had two armed, trained school resource officers who roamed its halls. The student who opened fire in it knew that full well. That did not stop him from bringing weapons onto the campus and opening fire.
He had a death wish and the means to execute it.
Not only was the deterrent effect nonexistent, but once the carnage was underway, the presence of two good guys with guns did not “solve the problem instantly.” Rather, the guards confronted the shooter within four minutes and intermittently exchanged gunfire with and negotiated with him for 25 minutes before he surrendered.
None of which is to minimize the courage of the professionals or the value of armed officers jumping into the fray at the right moment. They can and do save lives, at great personal risk.
But more guns in more hands on more campuses is quite clearly not the silver bullet the President insists it is. Troubled people — almost always young men — who are bent on mass murder are getting their hands on the means to kill in bunches.