A tweet which points out how there were armed guards at every recent mass shooting in the US has gone viral as critics of President Trump’s plan to prevent more bloodshed by arming school teachers is pummeled as ‘colossally stupid’.
As the national debate on how to prevent more killings rages on in the wake of the Parkland high school massacre, the president argued yesterday that the answer was to give teachers weapons to shoot ‘sickos’.
He believes the very presence of more firearms on school campuses will deter them and he is expected to reiterate the point at CPAC in Maryland on Friday morning.
Many, including survivors of the Parkland shooting, have lambasted the idea and say it will only lead to more violence.
Among them was Twitter user who rightfully pointed out that there had been armed personnel at Columbine in 1999 and at other mass shootings which were not in schools.
A tweet firing back at President Trump’s strategy to end school shootings by giving people on campus more guns went viral on Thursday
The president believes that giving ‘highly trained’ teachers on campus guns could end the massacres
‘Stoneman Douglas had an armed guard. Pulse had an armed guard. Mandalay Bay had enough armed personnel to occupy France. Fort Hood is a military base.
‘Columbine had a guard,’ said the user who named himself only as nyc southpaw.
His response to the president’s tweet had gathered 14,000 tweets by Friday morning.
Trump had written: ‘If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school.
‘Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!’
It was a similar sentiment to what he had told lawmakers earlier in the day at the White House.
‘These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns — it may be 10% or may be 40%.
‘And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus.
Critics lambasted Trump’s suggestion which they say will lead to more violence
‘We give them a little bit of a bonus.
‘They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus,’ he said.
Many, including those who survived the shooting, say it is not the answer.
There was an armed guard at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 when gunman Nikolas Cruz stormed the campus.
Scot Peterson was armed but remained outside at his station and hid behind a column as Cruz shot unarmed teachers inside as they tried to use their bodies to shield the students from bullets.
He has been fired from Broward County Sheriff’s Office and was dubbed a coward on Thursday by his old boss.
Parkland: Coward cop Scot Peterson stayed outside as 17 people without guns were slaughtered inside Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 14
Columbine: Officer Neil Gardner was uniformed, armed and at the school when two teenage gunmen opened fire in 1999. He tried to stop them by exchanging fire in the parking lot but missed. They killed 13 people
Pulse, Orlando: Adam Gruler, an off-duty police officer, was working a shift as a security guard at Pulse nightclub in June, 2016. He had a service revolver but it was not enough to bring down Omar Mateen who had assault rifles and machine pistols
Las Vegas: Shooter Stephen Paddock created a sniper’s nest in his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel where he opened fire on concert goers who were on the ground from his window. The hotel has dozens of armed security guards, none of whom were aware of the mass murder when it was being carried out. He shot himself – and 58 innocent others – before police stormed his room (above)
Fort Hood: In 2009, a soldier Nidal Hassan killed 13 people at the military base in Texas
Sheriff Scott Israel said he was ‘devastated’ and ‘sick to’ his stomach about Peterson’s lack of action.
‘There are no words. These families lost their children, we lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals, I’ve been to the homes where they sit and shiver. I’ve been to the vigils.
‘Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus for this entire event. He was armed, he was in uniform and he never went in,’ he said at a press conference on Thursday.
At Columbine, uniformed community resource officer Neil Gardner was there and was armed.
He fired several shots at one of the gunman Eric Harris.
In 2012, he said he agreed with giving school security officials more firearms but said assault weapons should be banned across the country.
‘If you live through a school shooting, you understand you really don’t need these weapons,’ Gardner told The New York Daily News at the time.
There were armed campus police at the Virginia Tech shooting where 32 people were killed.
At the Pulse nightclub killing in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, off-duty police officer Adam Gruler was there working as a security guard when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire.
He had a service revolver but the gunman had several weapons including a machine pistol and assault rifle.
Gruler was unable to stop the 49 deaths which occurred as a result of the shooting and hours-long hostage scenario which followed.
The Mandalay Bay hotel massacre in Las Vegas in October was the deadliest in US history.
Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of his suite, slaughtering 58 people in the crowd of a music festival on the ground below him.
The hotel had dozens of armed security guards but none were aware of the mass murder which was occurring until it was too late.
The twitter user also referenced the Fort Hood military base massacre of 2009 when Nidal Hasan killed 13 people.
‘The shooting occurred in the medical building and soldiers, as mandated by military policy, were not allowed to carry personal firearms.
On Thursday, Trump held a White House meeting with local officials to discuss school safety where he introduced the idea of giving campus staff more means to defend themselves and he suggested giving ‘bonuses’ to any teacher who was trained to use a gun
Some are behind the president’s strategy and took to the White House to call for increased protection in schools
Others, including thousands of teenage protesters, want to see change in the form of gun law reform
Experts have poked holes in Trump’s strategy since he announced it on Thursday.
Xavier University criminal justice professor Cheryl Lero Jonson told Politico that even if there was an increase in the number of firearms on school campuses, they would not be able to stop shooters bringing weapons inside themselves.
‘The stubborn reality is that the majority of school shooters are students, faculty, or staff of the school who have the proper identification to gain entry to the grounds,’ she said.
Metal detectors are another suggestion but are not full proof.
In 2005, teenager Jeffrey Weise shot an unarmed guard at the school and marched through the metal detector with his weapon where he then killed six others.
University of Virginia professor Dewey Cornell said focusing only on school campus security was ‘terribly short sighted’.
‘Prevention must start long before there is a gunman in parking lot.
‘You don’t prevent forest fires by waiting for the trees to start burning and then try to snuff out the flames.
‘The news media must stop perpetuating the idea that shootings are only prevented with security measures.’
Others have slammed the president’s logic that more guns are the answer.
‘It’s a crazy proposal. So what should we do about reducing airline hijacking? Give all the passengers guns as they walk on?’ Dr. David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health told NBC.
Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called it a ‘colossally stupid idea.’
‘If having more guns in more places made Americans safer, then we would have the lowest rates of gun violence in any developed country in the world,’ she said.
A woman weeps at the funeral of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 people killed in the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14
Twitter users supported her criticism and said the stories would change to those of students overpowering teachers and using the weapons to inflict harm once they were already inside the school.
Trump is expected to deliver more remarks on the issue when he speaks at CPAC in Maryland later on Friday.
As he departed the White House, he told reporters: ‘Schools have to have some form of protection.
‘If there are guns inside held by the right people you’re going to see this end.’
The NRA is focusing on a different element of the debate. They say that rather than ban semi-automatic rifles, more importance should be placed on enforcing mental health background checks.
They agree that Cruz should never been able to purchase the rifle he used in the killing but not because they don’t think it should be for sale.
Dana Loesch, the NRA’s outspoken national spokeswoman, said on Wednesday night that he was ‘nuts’ and that police, including the FBI who were warned on numerous occasions about his unstable state, dropped the ball.