Florida governor breaks with Trump on arming teachers
Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott is breaking with President Trump on the idea of arming teachers to deter mass shootings following a school shooting in South Florida that left 17 people dead.
“Let law enforcement do the keeping us safe, and let teachers focus on teaching,” Scott reportedly said Friday, the same day Trump endorsed the idea of putting guns in teachers’ hands at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Scott has long been expected to mount a 2018 Senate bid against Sen. Bill Nelson (D), but he has yet to announce whether he’s running. The deadly shooting last week has thrust both Florida and gun policies back into the national spotlight.
Trump, who met this week with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, said on Twitter that guns in the hands of “adept teachers with military or special training experience” could prevent future shootings.
In a Friday speech at CPAC, the president said an armed teacher could have “shot the hell out of” the gunman behind the Parkland rampage.
Scott, who has been criticized from the left for his “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association, also broke with the leading gun lobbyist group in proposing to raise the minimum age to purchase firearms in the state from 18 to 21.
Teachers across the country have mocked the idea of handling weapons in their classrooms. The idea has also been rejected by GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.