Hours after President Donald Trump announced his push to arm teachers for self-defense, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told a CNN audience he does not support letting teachers carry guns.
Rubio said plainly, “I don’t support it.”
He suggested armed teachers could end up being shot by a SWAT team if that team entered the building and saw the teacher standing with a gun in his or her hand. He said, “The SWAT team doesn’t know who is who” so they may shoot the teacher, leading to an “additional tragedy that was unnecessary.”
Lost in Rubio’s scenario are two things: 1. Schools could keep specific lists of which teachers were armed – lists responding law enforcement could access so they would know who should have a gun. 2. He overlooked the agonizingly long minutes which pass between he time the attack starts and the time SWAT enters the building. At Sandy Hook the attacker had over nine minutes without armed resistance.
What are unarmed teachers to do for nine minutes?
Is it not safe to say that every death that occurs during that time is “unnecessary”?
President Trump observed that the status quo, wherein teachers are denied arms, is not working. CNN quoted him saying, “Gun-free zone to a maniac—because they’re all cowards—a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’”
Trump stressed that incidents like the February 14 attack could be cut short or prevented altogether if teachers were armed. He said, “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.”