Days after a nationwide poll by an education group found strong opposition to armed teachers, the White House announced Sunday several recommendations about how to address school shootings, and among them is a proposal to offer “rigorous firearms training to specifically qualified volunteer school personnel.”
According to Fox News, President Donald Trump wants to create a new federal commission on school safety chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study the proposals. Across the country Wednesday, students have scheduled a 17-minute walkout of their classes as a protest against “gun violence.”
Also among the administration proposals is a push on Congress to pass legislation dubbed “FixNICS,” referring to the National Instant Check System, operated by the FBI. This is the background check system that has been criticized for not having full information on people disqualified from being able to purchase or own firearms.
While it has not frequently been reported by the mainstream media, “FixNICS” efforts have long been supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry umbrella group, and various gun rights organizations.
Meanwhile, the survey by the Network for Public Education (NPE) revealed that 94 percent of the respondents support a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and 98 percent want “tougher gun ownership regulations,” according to a press release. Only 8 percent of the respondents like the idea of armed teachers.
Coincidentally, Seattle’s KIRO – the local CBS affiliate – reported Monday that security guards for Tacoma Public Schools, who were disarmed before school opened last fall, want their sidearms returned. School district officials want only police to carry guns on campus.
KIRO, incidentally, is hosting a “Town Hall” on schools and guns Wednesday evening, 7-8 p.m. and will broadcast the program live from Seattle University. People can sign up for seating until noon Wednesday by clicking here.
Noticeably absent from the White House proposals is a recommendation to raise the minimum age limit for purchasing semi-auto rifles to 21. Currently, young adults age 18 and older may buy rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. Several days ago, President Trump had indicated support for the idea, but it appears he may have backed off in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association against the State of Florida for a new state law that restricts rifle sales to those over 21.