Former President Donald Trump slammed lawmakers for sending $40 billion to Ukraine while schools across the United States remain vulnerable to deadly attacks like the mass shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, during which 19 children and two teachers were killed last week.
“This is not a matter of money – this is a matter of will. If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we should be able to do whatever it takes to keep our children safe at home,” Trump said during his speech at the National Rifle Association convention in Texas on Friday.
“We spent trillions in Iraq, trillions in Afghanistan, and we got nothing. Before we ‘nation build’ the rest of the world, we should be building safe schools for our own children, in our own nation,” he added.
Trump called for a “top-to-bottom security over hall at schools all across our country,” including single points of entry in every building, strong exterior fencing, metal detectors, and doors that are lockable from the inside.
“No one should ever be able to get anywhere near a classroom until they have been checked, scanned, screened and fully approved,” Trump said.
The former president also argued that every school in America should have a police officer or armed resource officer “on duty at all times,” and police departments should undergo “rigorous training on active shooter protocols to immediately locate and eliminate the target.”
Trump began his speech by reading the names of the Robb Elementary shooting victims and holding a moment of silence.
“The monster who committed this crime is pure evil, pure cruelty, pure hatred, absolute pure hatred, and while those he slaughtered are now with God in heaven, he will be eternally damned to burn in the fires of hell,” he said.
Trump also blasted anti-gun lawmakers for “seeking to exploit” the tragedy in pursuit of gun control legislation.
“Sadly, before the sun had even set on the horrible day of tragedy, we witnessed a now-familiar parade of cynical politicians seeking to exploit the tears of sobbing families to increase their own power and take away our Constitutional rights,” Trump said.
“Every time a disturbed or demented person commits such a hideous crime, there’s always a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda,” he continued. “Even more repulsive is their rush to shift blame away from the villains who commit acts of mass violence and to place that blame onto the shoulders of millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations such as our wonderful NRA.”
“When Joe Biden blamed the gun lobby, he was talking about Americans like you. And along with countless other Democrats this week, he was shamefully suggesting that Republicans are somehow ok with letting school shootings happen,” he added. “They’re not ok with it. This rhetoric is highly divisive and dangerous and, most importantly, it’s wrong.”
Trump also condemned the lengthy shutdown of schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a move he argued exacerbated mental health issues among America’s youth.
“Last year alone, Biden and congressional Democrats sent $122 billion in so-called COVID relief funds to K-12 schools, even while they were keeping many of our schools totally shut down, no doubt severely worsening the mental health challenge of many youth,” Trump said. “Many of these young people really suffered, very greatly, and became very ill. They may have been ill to start, but they became very ill.”
“Congress should vote immediately to take back every penny of unused COVID relief money, take it back from the states and use that money to quickly establish impenetrable security at every school all across our land.”