Former US President Donald Trump has said the “evil” massacre in Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman, is a reason to arm, not disarm.
While addressing the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Trump said decent Americans should have the right to the guns they need to defend themselves.
“The existence of evil is one of the best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” he said at an event in Houston attended by nearly two thousand people.
Suggesting ways to improve security in schools, Trump said every school should have a single entry point, strong fences and metal detectors, adding that there should also be a police officer or a armed guard at all times in each school.
According to Trump, “It’s not about the money. It’s about the will. If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we can do it.”
“The various gun control policies pushed by the left would have done nothing to prevent the horror that happened. Absolutely nothing,” he said.
Calling for a “drastic” change in the US approach to mental health and an overhaul of school safety, Trump said gun control efforts were “grotesque”.
“As the old saying goes, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Trump added.
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His remarks came three days after a gun massacre at a Texas elementary school in which an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle shot and killed 21 people, again drew attention to the NRA, a major donor to Congress. members, mostly Republicans.
Although the NRA’s influence has dwindled as it has become mired in legal battles over a corruption scandal, it is still considered the most powerful gun rights organization in the country that has rejected most initiatives to prevent mass shootings, including expanded background checks on gun purchases.
The shooting in Texas has reignited the gun control debate in the United States, with Democrats calling for tough gun control laws to prevent such incidents.
Instead of passing laws to strengthen gun control, Republicans in Washington have suggested “reinforcing” schools with enhanced security.
According to Gun Violence Archive, there have been 214 mass shootings this year in just five months in the United States, with a racist massacre at a supermarket in a black Buffalo neighborhood just 10 days before the killings in Texas.
(With agency contributions)