President Donald Trump attended a White House listening session on Wednesday to hear the grievances of those affected by mass shootings in the United States.
There were a number of heated exchanges and demands for the White House to do more to prevent such terrible atrocities, such as the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last week that killed at least 17 people.
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In addition to the potential of expanded background checks, a ban on “bump stocks” and other firearm modifications that increase the rate of fire, the president said his administration is contemplating the potential of arming teachers.
“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly…but the good thing is you’ll have a lot of [armed] people with that,” the president said.
The conversation was often emotional and sometimes heated.
“Schoolteachers have more than enough responsibilities right now than to have to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life,” retorted Mark Barden, father of a Sandy Hook victim, whose wife is an educator.
“It should have been one school shooting & we should have fixed it,” Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter, Meadow Pollack said. “I’m pissed. Because my daughter — I’m not going to see again. She is not here. She is in North Lauderdale, whatever it is, in King David Cemetery. That is where I go to see my kid now.”
It is no surprise that the president made notes to assist him with fielding questions from the emotionally distraught audience and was attempting to be careful to avoid clumsy or insensitive statements.
The following handwritten notes was found in the president’s hand:
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) February 21, 2018