Calling the performance of deputies during the mass shooting at a Florida high school not “exactly Medal of Honor winners,” President Donald Trump said he would have charged into the fray even if he had been unarmed, NBC News reported.
“You know I really believe, you don't know until you're tested, but I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon and I think most of the people in this room would've done that too,” Trump told governors meeting at the White House on Monday to discuss school safety.
The meeting came in the aftermath of criticism of law enforcement agencies, which missed warning signs that Nikolas Cruz, accused in the shooting deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, could be dangerous, ABC News reported.
Trump said the actions of Scot Peterson, the school resource officer who remained outside a building during the Feb. 14 shooting at the high school as “frankly, disgusting” and that the deputy “choked.”
A lawyer representing Peterson defended the former deputy’s action in a statement Monday. Peterson resigned from the sheriff's office last week after he was suspended without pay. He was the only armed officer at the school at the time of the shooting, which lasted six minutes.
The president also criticized several other deputies who failed to immediately enter the school grounds and told the governors that the authorities’ performance “was really a disgrace,” NBC News reported.
Trump said he had lunch with NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox over the weekend and said they “want to do something,” NBC News reported.
“Don’t worry about the NRA, they're on our side,” Trump said. “Half of you are so afraid of the NRA, there's nothing to be afraid of.
“And you know what, if they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while. That’s OK. They're doing what they think is right. … But sometimes we’re gonna have to be very tough and we're gonna have to fight them.”
The president also said that bump stocks would be banned, either by Congress or by executive action,” ABC News reported.
"By the way, bump stocks, we’re writing that out. I'm writing that out myself,” Trump said. “I don't care if Congress does it or not, I'm writing it out myself, OK? You put it into the machine gun category, which is what it is, it becomes essentially a machine gun.”