After initially showing a willingness to raise the age limit on purchasing firearms, President Donald Trump has since pumped the breaks on enacting such a policy, asserting frankly in a tweet on Monday, March 12, that the policy doesn't have much "political support." In the meantime, a noticeably large group of schools have shown their own support for action against gun violence. The group includes Barron Trump's school, which signed an open letter to President Donald Trump and Congress, calling on both to act with "urgency" in response to the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"The horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has led students, teachers, and school leaders to speak out forcefully against gun violence," the letter begins. "Students — children — who have experience this trauma and loss first-hand are showing the way. As adults and as educators, it is our time to lead. With those student activists and with their grieving families, we too say, 'Never Again!'"
The open letter was also signed by over 100 other schools within the Washington D.C. area and published in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday, March 14.
Among those 100-plus schools is the school the president's son, Barron, attends: St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. Potomac is a superb of D.C. — and subject of The Real Housewives of Potomac, for the reality TV watchers out there.
The letter goes on to advocate for different types of gun control measures, while arguing against a policy that the president has endorsed since the shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"We urge our president, our Congress, and our state leaders to enact specific, rigorous measures to reduce gun violence in our society, particularly in our schools. We need a robust system of registration and background checks, with a particular eye toward weapons capable of rapidly firing a vast number of deadly shots. We need stronger mental health services and more effective communication among agencies responsible for the well-being of children, adults and families," the letter reads.
The note then emphatically rejects the idea of arming teachers. "What we do not need is to arm our teachers with guns, which is dangerous and antithetical to our profession as educators."
In a series of tweets on Monday, President Trump commented on many of the policy proposals the letter would reference two days later, on Wednesday. Within the tweets, Trump said the White House would support strengthening background checks and said "highly trained" teachers would soon be able to carry firearms.
Here's what the president had to say in full:
Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward. Bump Stocks will soon be out. Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent! ... On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly) ... If schools are mandated to be gun free zones, violence and danger are given an open invitation to enter. Almost all school shootings are in gun free zones. Cowards will only go where there is no deterrent!
The letter was sent on the same day that students across the country participated in a national walkout against gun violence. While a number of school leaders warned students that participating in the march could result in punishment, other school leaders showed support for the movement and the overall push for gun control legislation.
The school the president's son attends can now be counted among the latter.