President Donald Trump on Monday compared being highly trained in the use of a firearm to being good at golf.
He made the remark while speaking to governors from across the country about his proposal to arm teachers who volunteer for the responsibility in order to deter future school shootings.
“When the press covered it, the headline was ‘Trump wants all teachers to have guns,’” the President said. “’Trump wants teachers to have guns.’”
“I don’t want teachers to have guns. I want highly-trained people that have a natural talent, like hitting a baseball or hitting a golfball or putting.”
He added: “How come some people always make the four-footer, and some people, under pressure, can’t even take their club back?”
Trump also speculated that he would have run to confront the gunman behind the Valentine’s Day shooting massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, even if he wasn’t armed.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” he said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has confirmed that the armed officer on duty at the Stoneman Douglas remained outside of the building where the shooter began his rampage, breaking protocol. The officer has since retired. CNN and the South Florida Sun Sentinel have reported that as many as three more Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the building when Coral Springs police arrived at the school, according to the Coral Springs officers.
At one point in his remarks Monday, the President outlined his priorities to prevent future mass shootings like the one at Stoneman Douglas: Banning bump stocks, increasing mental health treatment and empowering law enforcement to commit people involuntarily to mental institutions, acting “quickly and decisively” on early warning signals for potential gunmen, and “striv[ing] to create a culture in our country that cherishes life and condemns violence and embraces dignity.” The President made no mentioning of raising the age of purchase for rifles to 21, as he has in recent days.
Trump said separately that “we’re going to do very strong background checks,” but did not indicate he supported making them universal in order to include, for example, online transactions and gun show purchases.