HOUSTON: Former US President Donald Trump suggested that instead of giving aid to war-torn Ukraine, the US government should prioritise financing for school security in the country.
Trump made the statements at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) three-day annual gathering in Houston on Friday, just three days after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two teachers.
The former President, speaking to tens of thousands of supporters, said: "We spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan and received nothing in return. We should establish safe schools for our own children in our own country before we nation-build the rest of the world." According to the BBC, Trump also rejected proposals for tighter gun laws, stating that moral Americans should be able to protect themselves against "evil" with firearms.
Instead, he recommended a "top-to-bottom revamp" of school security, including fortified single points of entry with metal detectors and at least one armed police officer on every campus, and blamed Democrats for obstructing such measures.
The names of the victims of the Uvalde shooting were also read out by the former President, who marked each one with a bell toll. Trump also called for a "dramatic shift in our approach to mental health" in his speech.