John Oliver Rips Into Trump and NRA's 'Clearly Terrible' Plan to Arm Teachers

It's no surprise that Last Week Tonight host John Oliver is firmly against President Donald Trump's proposal to arm teachers—there's little about Trump's agenda that Oliver agrees with. The HBO late-night comedian didn't linger too long on the topic Sunday night, but the few minutes he spared for the president and the National Rifle Association were brutal. 

Following the deaths of 17 people in the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Trump suggested arming around 20 percent of school teachers to deter future shootings. It's a position the NRA has backed for years.

Oliver played a clip of Trump addressing Parkland survivors at the White House last week, in which the president declared, "We need to let people know coming into our schools that you're going to be dead, and it's going to be fast."

"OK, so, first thing there," Oliver joked, while the Last Week Tonight's audience booed the president's words, "'You're going to be dead, and it's going to be dead and it's going to be fast' is already the slogan for Carl's Jr., so you can't use that!

"Trump’s support for this clearly terrible idea seemed to develop over the week," Oliver continued. "He actually focus-grouped it on Wednesday during a listening session featuring survivors of the shooting—a session, incidentally, for which his notes including a reminder to say ‘I hear you,’ which is what you might write down if you were a robot pretending to be a person pretending to be a robot pretending to be a person.”

The crack was a reference to Trump's now infamous "cheat sheet," a list of talking points reminders the president brought with him to the listening session.

GettyImages-922475254 President Donald Trump holds his notes while hosting a listening session with students survivors of mass shootings, their parents and teachers in the State Dining Room at the White House on February 21. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The comedian further mocked Trump for asking for a show of hands to support giving teachers guns in the room full of survivors. Unsurprisingly, almost no one raised their hand in support. When Trump asked who opposed the idea, many more hands were raised. “That is Donald Trump in a nutshell: proposing a terrible idea in a tone-deaf way, then refusing to acknowledge that he just lost the popular vote,” Oliver noted wryly. 

"There are clearly multiple issues with the idea of arming teachers," Oliver continued on a more serious note, "from the fact that it is not their job, to the fact that there was an armed deputy in Parkland and that didn’t deter or stop the shooter. But even the logistics of this plan are pretty daunting."

Oliver has a point. Arming 20 percent of teachers with guns, per the president's suggestion, would mean roughly 700,000 guns in the hands of teachers, according to 2015 stats from the National Center for Education. While that idea found little support in the listening session, there are others who are into it.  

"It’s no wonder the NRA likes this solution—it involves buying hundreds of thousands of guns," Oliver observed. "That’s their solution to everything! They probably deal with climate change by pointing a Glock at the ocean and daring that motherfucker to rise."

Finally, Oliver concluded, many teachers strongly oppose arming teachers. The comedian played a clip of National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García, who recently spoke out against the president's plan on CBS This Morning. "This does not pass any common-sense test whatsoever," Garcia said.

"Donald, your answer doesn’t make sense," Oliver said, echoing Garcia's words in his best teacher voice. "Also, we don’t actually want ‘less’ guns in schools, we want ‘fewer’ guns in schools. Donald…Focus, Donald…One, two, three all eyes on me!”

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