Donald Trump slams calls for US gun reforms following Texas school shooting
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said.
Former US President Donald Trump has slammed calls to tighten gun control laws in the United States following a school shooting in Texas earlier this week.
On Tuesday morning, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire on a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers, before he was eventually shot dead by police.
The incident has led to renewed calls for the US to overhaul its gun laws.
Speaking at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Houston, Texas on Friday, Trump called the shooting a "savage and barbaric atrocity" and read the names of the 19 children that died.
"Sadly, before the sun had even set on the horrible day of the 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," he then said.
“Every time a disturbed or a demented person commits such a hideous crime there is always a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda.
"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 organisations such as our wonderful NRA.
"The various gun control policies being pushed by the left would have done nothing to prevent the horror that took place. Absolutely nothing."
Trump then listed a number of steps he believes the US must take to prevent similar events happening in the future.
"Clearly, we need to make it far easier to confine the violent and mentally deranged into mental institutions," he stated, before adding:
"All of us must unite, Republican and Democrat - in every state and at every level of government - to finally harden our schools and protect our children.
"What we need now is a top-to-bottom security overhaul at schools all across our country."
As part of this, he said every school building should have a single point of entry, strong exterior fencing, metal detectors and "new technology to make sure that no unauthorised individual can ever enter the school with a weapon".
He also stated that every school in America should have a police officer or armed resource officer on duty at all times.
"We need to expand funding, recruiting and training for police departments nationwide," Trump added.
"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."
He also reiterated his calls for highly trained teachers to be allowed to carry concealed weapons in classrooms.
"Surely, we can all agree our schools should not be the softest target. Our schools should be the single hardest target in our country," Trump told the event.
"That's why as part of a comprehensive school safety plan, it's time to finally allow highly trained teachers to safely and discretly concealed carry. Let them concealed carry.
"As the age old saying goes, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
“The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens. The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens," he later added.