- REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
Donald Trump says he believes questions about rampant gun violence in America have already been answered.
Days after a student killed nine people inside a classroom at Umpqua Community College in southwestern Oregon, the Republican primary front-runner says the answer to mass shootings like these is as simple as arming teachers.
“It was a gun-free zone,” Trump said, referring to the community college in Roseburg, Oregon.
While talking to a crowd Saturday at a campaign stop in Franklin, Tennessee, Trump said, “I tell you, if you had a couple of the teachers or someone with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off.”
Trump has often made clear his position on gun rights since he announced his presidential campaign nearly four months ago.
“I’m a big Second Amendment person,” the real-estate mogul said in July. “I believe in it so strongly.”
He has said that taking guns away from “the good people” means the “bad ones are going to have target practice.”
A similar argument – that the unarmed victims of mass shootings are somehow indirectly responsible for their own deaths – gained traction among some lawmakers after the South Carolina church shooting in June, in which nine people were killed.
In a CNN interview days after the shooting, South Carolina state Rep. Bill Chumley (R) said, “These people sat in there and waited their turn to be shot … somebody in there with the means of self-defense could have stopped this.”
- REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
As the number of mass shootings stack up, the collective response among some lawmakers has remained the same: that tougher gun laws are not the answer.
GOP presidential candidate, Marco Rubio (R-Florida), declared at a town hall meeting in Iowa on Friday that there’s “no evidence that gun laws would prevent these shootings.”
The last meaningful legislation on the issue – a 2013 bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales – never made it through Congress.
Since the beginning of 2015, there have been nearly 300 mass shootings in the US.