The prevention of mass shootings has once again entered national conversation after a gunman opened fire in a Parkland, Florida school on February 14th. In response to the Parkland tragedy, several conservatives, including President Donald Trump, have suggested arming teachers as a possible solution to gun violence. And now, first daughter Ivanka Trump has spoken up about her father’s proposal.
At the closing ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics on February 25th, Ivanka said that she wasn’t sure if the measure would protect children, but added that there is “no one solution” to ending gun violence and described arming teachers as “not a bad idea.”
Ivanka, who has the official title of “Assistant to the President,” has avoided the gun control discussion since the Parkland, Florida shooting. Her response in the aftermath of the shooting attracted criticism as she tweeted condolences to the victims but said nothing about preventing similar tragedies.
The president first mentioned the idea of providing teachers with firearms during a listening session for survivors of school shootings held at the White House on February 21st. He said that the proposal would only apply to teachers who had firearms training. On February 24th, he elaborated on his position, tweeting that the decision to arm teachers should be made by individual states.
Given Ivanka’s public support for her father’s policies, her noncommittal answer about arming teachers isn’t that surprising. That being said, the idea of a “good guy with a gun” stopping a school shooting is highly unrealistic, and we wish Ivanka and other members of the Trump administration would work to find better solutions. We need to take informed, measured steps to end gun violence: arming educators is a poor, knee-jerk fix that could do more harm than good.