(National Sentinel) Not Getting It: White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah took on a host of questions on Thursday over President Donald J. Trump’s soft suggestion that the federal government could help arm 20 percent of school teachers following last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The president recently called gun-free zones in schools “a magnet for bad people” and added that first responders are typically “5 to 8 minutes” away, but armed and trained teachers could confront an attacker “immediately.”

Many of the questions pertained to the cost of such a program, which Shah answered deftly and on-target, so to speak.

“You’re talking about $700 million, maybe north of a billion, less than that. In any event, it’s a lot of money. Would the federal government pay for something like this? Do you expect the state and local municipalities?” one reporter asked.

“Is that too much to pay for school safety?” Shah shot back.

Earlier, Shah was asked about the Trump administration’s willingness to support arming 20 percent of teachers.

“There are 3.5 million teachers roughly in the United States. He said it would be about 20 percent. That’s 700,000 teachers. How would the president propose arming 700,000 teachers? — how is that wise to have 700,000 more firearms in schools?” a reporter asked.

Bluntly, Shah responded, “When you have a horrific situation like you had last week and other school shootings we’ve seen these horrible tragedies, what we think and don’t think is practical can change.”

Shah was also asked by another reporter about the “negative” reaction to such a policy.

“A lot of other folks have been supportive of this idea. The notion that, you know, trained individuals who work within schools that have firearms and can serve as a deterrent could keep a lot of schools in a community safe,” he responded.


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