There have been 11 school shootings this year alone. And Trump’s answer to keep children safe at schools is to supply law enforcement with military gear.
In a meeting at the White House with mayors last week, Trump began:
“We’re also getting you a lot of our excess military equipment, you know all about that,” Trump began. “The previous administrations — but in particular, the previous administration — they didn’t like to do that, and someday they’ll explain why. But we had a lot of excess military equipment, we’re sending it to your police as they need it, and it’s made a tremendous difference.”
In August, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced a roll back of the Obama-era restrictions on the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments across the country.
Under the Law Enforcement Support Office, or the 1033 program, the Pentagon has supplied local police departments from 2006-2014 with “billions of dollars worth of grenade launchers, high-calibur firearms, camouflage gear, and armored personnel carriers used on battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to ThinkProgress.
President Obama put restrictions on such disbursement of surplus military gear in 2015 after police used “militarized tactics” during a protest in Ferguson, Missouri in memory of Michael Brown who was fatally shot by police. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration will lift such restrictions.
Congressman Hank Johnson, U.S. Representative for Georgia’s fourth congressional district and a member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees said lifting the restriction was “dangerous” and Trump’s “unwise and ill considered executive order” was a “reckless action.”
“The Pentagon program creates a pipeline that bypasses normal city council and county commission procurement processes, enabling police departments to acquire expensive-to-maintain and often unneeded military equipment directly from the Pentagon without the approval or even knowledge of government officials elected by citizens, Johnson said in an opinion piece in The Guardian.”
While Trump didn’t explain why or how surplus military gear would help prevent future school shootings, he said that military weapons would help keep children safe.
“We believe every child deserves to live in safe home, attend a great school, and look forward to an amazing and very very safe future, so you’re getting a lot of equipment,” he said.