While slamming the sheriff’s deputy who failed to enter Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school during the deadly mass shooting just under two weeks ago, President Donald Trump asserted that he would have taken action if placed in the same situation.
“You don’t know until you’re tested, but I think I — I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” the president told a meeting of the nation’s governors on Monday. He added, “And I think most of the people in this room would have done that too. … But the way they performed was really a disgrace.”
Continuing off script, the president also doubled down on his suggestion that teachers should be armed as a means for preventing future school shootings.
“At some point you need volume,” said Trump. “I don’t know that a school’s going to be able to hire a hundred security guards that are armed.”
The 71-year-old president went on, apparently referring again to the performance of local law enforcement at the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High: “Plus, you know, I got to watch some deputy sheriffs performing this weekend. They weren’t exactly, uh, Medal of Honor winners, alright? The way they performed was frankly disgusting.”
On Friday, it was revealed that Scot Peterson, a school resource officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s office, waited outside of the Parkland, Florida, school building while 17 students and teachers were shot and killed by suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz. Peterson resigned, with Sheriff Scott Israel saying of his actions, “[I’m] devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words.”
“These families lost their children, we lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the homes where they’re sitting shiva. I’ve been to the vigils. There are no words.”
Two other Broward County officers were also put on administrative leave while an investigation continues on the handling of into tips previously reported about the shooter continues.
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First Lady Melania Trump also addressed the shooting on Monday at a White House luncheon for the governors’ spouses.
“As a parent, I cannot imagine the kind of grief a tragedy like that brings, and I hope and I know we all find ourselves wondering what we can do to help,” Mrs. Trump said. “In my year as first lady, I have also learned it is oftentimes after a tragedy that you see the strength and resilience of the human spirit. I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change. They’re our future, and they deserve a voice.”