Florida survivor says chairman no better than other politicians after plan to harden schools against mass shootings retreats from confrontation with NRA
The Trump administration will use existing justice department funding to help train teachers and other school personnels to use pistols in an attempt to “harden” schools against mass shooting attacks, the White House announced on Sunday.
But in a watered-down school safety program, the White House backed away from other proposals the president had endorsed, including creating the legal age to buy certain guns.
The president had clashed with the National Rifle Association over the issue of elevating age limits to purchase rifles such as the one used in the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida in February, in which 17 people were killed.
” It should all be at 21 ,” Trump said in late February.” And the NRA will back it .”
But the NRA remained firm, filing a federal suit on Friday challenging the legality of Florida’s freshly passed age restrictions on buying rifles and other long guns.
The president then backed away from the issue, designating the question of whether age restrictions should be raised on some firearm acquisitions to a new federal board on school security, is presided over by education secretary Betsy DeVos.
On Monday, survivors of the Florida shooting criticised Trump’s decision.
” What President Trump demonstrated when he said he wanted to raise the age to 21 was bipartisanship and the need to work together on this and save some lives ,” one of the students, David Hogg, told CNN.
” But the other thing he proved after that is that he’s no better than the other legislators because he called out other GOP members and said,’ You’re owned by the NRA and that’s why you don’t want to take action .’ But then he stepped back down from where he was and that’s why we’re seeing this stuff.
” I ask him why? Show us that you’re better than these other politicians and that you aren’t owned by the NRA and that you actually wishes to take action. Those proposals were great but proposals without act remain proposals .”
Under the White House plan, homeland security officials will work with states to develop a public awareness campaign to prevent school shootings, based on the” See something, say something” campaign launched after 9/11, which fosters members of the public to stay vigilant and report potential signs of terrorism.
The administration will work with states to provide” rigorous pistols developing” to” qualified volunteer school personnel”, said Andrew Bremberg, administrator of the president’s domestic policy council. No figures were given for what the programme would expenditure.