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Donald Trump: arming teachers could put end to school shootings

Click to play video 'Trump expresses support for concealed carry in schools idea' Trump expresses support for concealed carry in schools idea
WATCH ABOVE: Trump expresses support for concealed carry in schools idea – Feb 21, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that arming teachers could help prevent massacres such as last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Trump voiced support for the idea during an emotional White House meeting with students who survived the shooting and a parent whose child did not.

READ MORE: Florida school shooting survivor tells Donald Trump: ‘Let’s never let this happen again please, please’

“If you had a teacher … who was adept at firearms, it could very well end the attack very quickly,” said Trump, who acknowledged the idea would be controversial.

He sat in the middle of a semi-circle in the State Dining Room of the White House, listening intently as students wept and pleaded for change. He vowed to take steps to improve background checks for gun buyers.

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WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor urges Trump for change to ‘never let this happen again’

Click to play video 'Florida school shooting survivor urges Trump for change to ‘never let this happen again’' Florida school shooting survivor urges Trump for change to ‘never let this happen again’
Florida school shooting survivor urges Trump for change to ‘never let this happen again’ – Feb 21, 2018

The meeting included six students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and educators were slain on Feb. 14 by a gunman with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle in the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school.

“I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR,” said Sam Zeif, 18, sobbing after he described texting his family members during the Florida shooting.

READ MORE: Florida school shooting survivors flood state capitol to demand action on guns

“Let’s never let this happen again please, please,” Zeif said.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack, 18, was killed, shouted: “It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. And I’m pissed – because my daughter – I’m not going to see again.”

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WATCH: ‘We failed our children’, Florida school shooting victim’s father says

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‘We failed our children’: Florida school shooting victim’s father – Feb 21, 2018

Trump said his administration would emphasize background checks and mental health in an effort to make schools safer.

“We’re going to be very strong on background checks, we’re doing very strong background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health,” Trump said.

“It’s not going to be talk like it has been in the past,” Trump said.

Trump‘s support for any tightening of gun laws would mark a change for the Republican, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association gun rights group during the 2016 presidential campaign.