What Do Combat Vets Think Of Trump’s Proposal To Arm Teachers Against School Shootings?

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President Donald Trump, joined by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Carson Abt, right, and Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, left, pauses during a listening session with high school students teachers, and others in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster

In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump offered a simple solution to end the United States’ sad tradition of school shootings: Arm teachers with “military or special training experience” against potential gunmen.


Responding to criticism of a Wednesday listening session in which the president proposed concealed carry among school faculty and staff “adept with the firearm,” Trump tweeted on Thursday that teachers “must be [on] offense” because “defense alone won’t work.”

It’s worth honing in on one particular element of Trump’s proposal: the prerequisite of some sort of firearms training. And consistent, rigorous training, beyond entry-level boot camp rifle or pistol quals, matters: One of the reasons bystander interventions during mass shootings are rarely effective is that a significant portion of firearms owners never received formal safety or marksman training, according to a July 2017 public health study. (Heck, just consider the “18 school shootings this year alone” statistic that’s been bandied about recently; most of those “shootings” were accidental discharges.)

Instead of would-be Rambos, Trump’s logic goes, perhaps it’s those Americans who fully understand and respect the power of firearms who are worthy of safeguarding our schoolchildren. To which a lot of veterans on Twitter responded: Fuck that noise.

This ... is not a new trend!

When it comes to the efficacy of armed vets in school, I’ll let people who have actually seen combat make that assessment.

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