“Bad things” on the internet and violence in movies and video games may be contributing to mass shootings, warned President Donald Trump. Speaking at a White House meeting on school safety on Thursday, the commander-in-chief sat down with lawmakers, state representatives, and administration officials to discuss solutions to gun violence.
According to the president, the internet is shaping the minds of children, and now is the time to start taking a close look at what they are seeing. He also suggested the influence of video games and movies needs to be considered a contributing factor in violent crimes.
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies…. maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
As noted by the Hill, today’s meeting at the White House took place just one day after President Trump met with parents of victims and survivors of a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that claimed the lives of 17 students. During the “listening session,” the president promised new policies that would toughen background checks when buying a firearm.
President Trump took to Twitter this morning to reinforce his promise.
“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!”
Also addressed at today’s White House meeting was the idea of arming teachers across the country. As a deterrent to any would-be shooter, Trump wants teachers that are “adept at guns” to carry them on campus.
“A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream,” said Trump, per a report from CBS News. “Shooters won’t walk into a school if 20 percent of people have guns.”
The plan would involve training the teachers as well as pay them bonus money. Trump noted arming teachers would be much more effective and far less expensive than hiring armed security.
When asked about an armed teacher’s potential reaction to the confusion during a school gun battle, the president responded he has no concerns as the teachers would be “experts.” Trump was also asked about who will be paying for the teachers’ training. The president said federal funding of a program is certainly being considered.
The White House meeting today was in response to a growing movement to enact stricter gun control laws initiated by last week’s school shooting. The event has since set off a fiery nationwide debate on how to reduce gun violence.