Former US President Donald Trump has rejected calls for tighter gun controls after the Texas school shooting. Instead, on Friday he called for firearms to defend himself against “evil.”
Former US President Donald Trump has called for more guns in schools after the deadly massacre in Texas. “The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” Trump said on Friday evening (local time) in Houston, Texas at the annual meeting of the powerful NRA gun lobby. Armed security forces and teachers could prevent horrific acts like those in the small Texas town of Uvalde, Trump argued. At the same time, there is outrage in the USA about the hesitant behavior of the police during the killing spree. More and more frightening details about the operation and the crime are becoming known.
The annual meeting of the NRA (National Rifle Association) was held in Houston just three days after the massacre that occurred about 450 kilometers away on Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde. Some politicians and musicians canceled their participation in the event. “Unlike others, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up,” Trump said, albeit without naming names. According to media reports, thousands of people protested against gun violence and the NRA in front of the event site.
At the beginning of his speech, Trump read out the names of the 19 children and two teachers who were shot dead by the gunman Salvador Ramos. He called for metal detectors and an armed security guard for every school in the United States. “New technologies” should ensure that no unauthorized person can enter the school with a weapon. Teachers who have been trained to do so should also be allowed to carry weapons, Trump said. “There is no more inviting sign for a mass murderer than a sign declaring a gun-free zone.” These are the “most dangerous places”.
Numerous experts warn against arming teachers. They say this doesn’t make schools safe places. “Arming teachers is a bad idea all round because it invites a lot of disasters and problems,” NPR quoted Matthew Mayer, a scholar of school violence at Rutgers University in New Jersey, as saying. The chance that such an approach will actually help is slim. According to a Gallup survey from 2018, almost three quarters of the teachers surveyed are against carrying guns in schools.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also did not appear in person at the NRA meeting on Friday as announced. Instead, the Republican sent a pre-recorded video statement and held a press conference in Uvalde. There he came under pressure after the new findings about the course of the police operation and was urged by the press to comment. “I was misled,” Abbott said. He had passed on to the public the information that had been described to him after the massacre in the elementary school. “Some of the information I was given turned out to be inaccurate and I am absolutely furious about it.”
Shortly before, the responsible security authority had admitted serious errors in the operation. For example, it became known that 19 police officers had been stationed in the corridor in front of the interconnected classrooms at an early stage, in which the shooter had holed up with the children. After more than 45 minutes, they made no attempts to enter the room and stop the shooter. The 18-year-old killed the children and teachers in the classroom on Tuesday.
Abbott promised clarification, but again didn’t see the problem in Texas’ lax gun laws. Similar to Trump, Abbott cited mental illness as a major cause of such acts. Therefore, one must focus on the issue of mental health. Texas ranks among the states with the worst access to mental health clinics or practices, according to research.