During an event at the White House on Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) challenged President Trump on his plan to arm teachers — to his face. And the president was visibly not happy about it.
After Trump said that he thinks it’s “very important” to arm “a small portion” of teachers that are “very gun adept” in order to prevent schools shootings, Inslee explained why he thinks that’s a bad idea.
“If I may respond to that, lemme just suggest whatever percentage it is — I heard at one time you might have suggested 20 percent — whatever percentage it is, speaking as a grandfather, speaking as the governor of the state of Washington, I have listened to the people who would be affected by that, I have listened to the biology teachers, and they don’t want to do that at any percentage,” Inslee began.
“I have listened to the 1st grade teachers that don’t want to be pistol-packing 1st grade teachers, I have listened to law enforcement who have said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agents, which takes about six months,” Inslee continued.
The governor went on to urge Trump to listen more, tweet less, and take the proposal to arm teachers off the table.
“Now I just think this is a circumstance where we need to listen — that educators should educate, and they should not be foisted upon this responsibility of packing heat in 1st grade classes,” Inslee said. “Now I understand that you have suggested this, and we suggest things and sometimes then we listen to people about it and maybe they don’t look so good a little later, so I just suggest we need a little less tweeting and a little more listening, and let’s just take that off the table and move forward.
Trump tightly crossed his arms and side-eyed Inslee while he spoke.
Instead of addressing any of the points Inslee raised, as soon as he finished speaking, Trump said, “you know, we have a number of states right now that do that and I think with that in mind, I’ll call on Greg Abbott, the great governor of Texas.”
Trump was alluding to Texas’ existing program to train and arm “school marshals” — school officials who are trained to respond to active shooters, but have to keep their guns in a lockbox when students are around.
Later during Monday’s event, Trump floated the idea of giving teachers a $1,000 bonus for carrying concealed firearms in schools. But at no point did he mention banning or limiting access to AR-15s, the semi-automatic weapon that has been used in a number of recent mass shootings, including the one that killed 17 earlier this month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.