America must rely on self-defense for protection and not self-deception, according to Donald Trump. Over the weekend, the Republican presidential candidate advocated arming classroom teachers. He also criticized gun control and gun-free zones.
Trump’s comments came in the wake of Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left nine dead.
“I will tell you, if you had a couple of the teachers or somebody with guns in that room you would have been a helluva lot better off,” Trump told a Franklin, Tenn., crowd on Saturday.
“I can make the case that if there were guns in that room other than his, fewer people would have died, fewer people would have been so horribly injured,” he added Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Trump said gun-free zones present an illusion of safety, but not the real thing.
“How about the military event that took place three or four months ago? Where you had these highly decorated soldiers in a military area… where they weren’t allowed to have their guns. And this whack job walks in and starts shooting them,” Trump said Saturday in Tennessee. “Why are we having gun-free zones in a military camp?”
Trump Sunday criticized President Obama’s call for new restrictions on guns.
“He’s a great divider and, you know, you have a big issue between the Second Amendment folks and the non-Second Amendment folks, and he is a non-Second Amendment person,” Trump said on ABC’s This Week.
Trump repeated his contention that mass shootings are a mental health issue, not a gun control issue.
“The gun laws have nothing to do with this. This isn’t guns,” he said. “This is really about mental illness, and I feel very strongly about it.”
He called the push for stricter gun laws “political correctness.”
“Look at Chicago. It’s got the toughest gun laws in the United States. You look at other places that have gun laws that are very tough, they do, generally speaking, worse than anybody else,” Trump said.
Trump said the mental health system can’t ever catch all potential threats.
“You have sick people. They happen to be intelligent. And, you know, they can be sick as hell and they’re geniuses in a certain way. They are going to be able to break the system.”