Students getting ready to go back to class shouldn’t worry about school shootings, says U.S. President Donald Trump, but instead “really study hard.”
Trump made the comments outside the White House on Friday as he left for a vacation in New Jersey.
He said “serious” talks are taking place on gun control following two deadly shootings.
“My message to young children going back to school is go and really study hard. Someday you’ll grow up and maybe be president of the United States or do something else fantastic. They have nothing to fear, they have nothing to worry about,” he said.
He said his administration is in “constant contact” with state governments, which he suggested are “really doing a great job” at keeping schools safe.
“That doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be some crazy person but that’s what we want to do — we want to take the guns out of the hands of crazy, demented, sick people,” he said.
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Trump visited the cities on Wednesday and was met by large protests.
The tragedies have once again incited widespread calls for gun law reforms.
The president said he was in favour of stronger, comprehensive background checks for gun purchases in the U.S. but that he still stands behind the National Rifle Association.
On Twitter, Trump said he spoke with the NRA “so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected.”
The NRA opposes the background checks.
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“The NRA has made a great decision in supporting me, and nobody else would’ve won, aside from everything else,” he told reporters outside the White House.
“I have a very good relationship — I’ll change it — I have a great relationship with the NRA. I have a lot of respect for the people in the NRA. I have already spoken with them on numerous occasions.”
Trump said he believes the support behind the proposal for “intelligent” background checks isn’t exclusive to one side of the political aisle.
He claimed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is a Republican, and other Second Amendment “hardliners” are “totally on board.”
WATCH: Trump says he’s in favour of background checks on firearms
“We don’t want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people. We don’t want guns in the hands of the wrong people,” he said.
“I think that the Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge, along with the Democrats.”
Trump said he spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer on the topic.
The head of the NRA, meanwhile, is on the defensive.
In a statement to the Associated Press, CEO Wayne LaPierre said the gun law proposals mentioned by the president and other politicians are “soundbite solutions” to bigger problems.
“Worse, they would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones,” the statement read.