Trump endorses arming teachers after meeting with students and families impacted by gun violence
President Donald Trump hosts a listening session with high school students, teachers and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House. Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Donald Trump on Wednesday held an emotional listening session at the White House with students and parents touched by gun violence in schools, which led him to announce he supports arming teachers and aides in schools in order to protect students from gun violence.

After hearing tragic stories from students and parents affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as parents of students killed in the Columbine and Newtown schools, Trump spoke about his ideas to prevent more shootings. If was then that he announced he supports arming teachers and aides in schools.

“It’s called concealed carry, and it only works where you have people very adept at using firearms, of which you have man, and it would be teachers and coaches, if the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy, that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives I suspect, but if he had a firearm he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot and that would have been the end of it” Trump told the group gathered at the White House.

Trump also said he wants to strengthen background checks, however he spoke more about his opposition to “gun-free” school zones.

“Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — is ‘Let’s go in and let’s attack,’” Trump said.

At least one parent in the audience agreed with Trump’s proposal.

However, Mark Barden, a parent of a student killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, spoke out against the proposal, saying, “School teachers have more than enough responsibility right now” than to have to deal with guns in schools.

“Nobody wants to see a shoot-out at a school and a deranged sociopath .... knowing the outcome is suicide, he’s not going to care if someone is there with a gun,” Barden said.