WASHINGTON — Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor (2007-2015) who was a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said President Donald Trump’s proposal to arm specially trained teachers would not make schools safer.
“I would disagree with that policy approach. I don’t think you’re going to make schools safer by putting more guns into them,” O’Malley told TMN on Monday.
O’Malley said the proposal is “probably a ruse because President Trump knows that most places would never allow” the policy to be implemented.
In a Thursday tweet Trump said the presence of armed teachers would help prevent school shootings.
….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
Trump doubled-down on his support for the NRA-backed proposal during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference on Friday.
Seventeen people were killed on Feb. 14 when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Police charged Nikolas Cruz, 19, with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The shooting has reignited the gun control debate and pressure is mounting on federal and state officials to take action.
Trump has said he will push for expanded background checks. He has expressed support for raising the age of eligibility for purchasing a rifle from 18 to 21 and has said bump stocks should be removed from the market.
O’Malley, when asked if raising the purchasing age would help prevent mass shootings, said: “It could,” but explained: “It’s sometimes very difficult to measure prevention.”
O’Malley said he would not rule out running for office again but explained that right now he is dedicated to helping Democrats win state and local races.
“Right now I’ve made an affirmative decision to put my shoulder into helping other people win back their own states.”
O’Malley exited the 2016 race after receiving less than one percent of the delegate count in the crucial Iowa caucus contest.