President Donald Trump held a “business session” Monday morning with the nation’s governors and opened the proceedings with what White House reporters referred to as “a 22-min soliloquy that touched on a half dozen or so topics, including guns, DACA, trade and North Korea.”
Despite the general press leaping to cover Trump’s assertion that he would have “rushed” into Stoneman Douglas High School had he been there — also calling the decision by the Broward County Sheriff’s officer on the scene to not go in “disgusting” — the President actually had some reasonable ideas about what should be done to address the debate over gun control in the wake of the Florida shooting.
Trump acknowledged that the nation is heartbroken following the deaths of 17 in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. “We’ll turn our grief into action,” he said.
POTUS revealed he had lunch with NRA head Wayne LaPierre over the weekend and expressed a desire to “take action” on bump stocks, without Congress if necessary.
“I don’t care if Congress doesn’t” act, he said. “We’re getting rid of it,” he added later, according to White House pool reporters.
He also lamented changes in the conversation around mental health, particularly what to do with those who cannot be trusted to abide by the rules of a civil society. POTUS mentioned that he had a particular desire to see law enforcement empowered to remove firearms from those deemed mentally ill.
“We’re going to have to start talking about mental institutions,” POTUS said. “In the old days” it was easier to commit people who acted “like a boiler ready to explode” to mental institutions, POTUS said according to pool reports. He further noted that some institutions were shuttered due to operating costs, and pointed the finger at some of the governors in the room.
Pool reports also indicate POTUS was “broadly critical of the law enforcement” and noted that police ignored warning signs and failed to “nab this guy earlier.” He also briefly mentioned arming educators and staff in schools.