Trump wants to solve school shootings by arming teachers with “military or special training.” There aren’t many of them.
By Rachel Wolfe@firstname.lastname@example.org Feb 25, 2018, 12:30pm EST
During a speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump claimed that 10 to 20 percent of American school teachers are “very gun adept people.”
He was responding to what he called a “fake news” claim that he wanted to arm American school teachers — when he really meant he wants to arm teachers who are gun pros. “I don’t want a person that has never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed,” the president said during CPAC.
Donald J. Trump
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to
7:26 AM - Feb 22, 2018
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It’s tempting to write this claim off as more Trump hyperbole. But Trump is in a position to make actual policy changes on gun safety, so it’s worth taking a serious look at his starting point.
There are 3.1 million public school and .4 million private school teachers in America, according to a 2015 National Center for Education Statistics survey. If Trump wants to arm ten to 20 percent of them, that would mean giving guns to 350,000 to 700,000 people. A review of the best available research shows no evidence that even a fraction of that number have significant experience with a gun.
“Every teacher I have any contact [with] says that they don’t want to be armed, that kids would be killed by errant bullets, that the halls would be pandemonium and many lives would be lost in crossfire,” said NYU educational policy analyst and former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch about the plausibility of Trump’s remarks. On the statistic itself, Ravitch added that Trump “made it up.”
Military veterans make up only a small share of school teachers