Trump's proposal to arm teachers panned as a 'colossally stupid idea'

President Donald Trump says he has a solution to end classroom massacres once and for all: Arm some of America's teachers with concealed weapons, and train them to "immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions," he said Thursday

But gun violence experts, educators, and school safety advocates immediately panned the idea.

"It's a crazy proposal," said Dr. David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health and an expert on the public health impact of gun violence. Chuckling, he added, "So what should we do about reducing airline hijacking? Give all the passengers guns as they walk on?"

Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called it a "colossally stupid idea."

Related: NRA's Wayne LaPierre accuses Democrats of exploiting Parkland tragedy

"If having more guns in more places made Americans safer, then we would have the lowest rates of gun violence in any developed country in the world, and the exact opposite is true," she said, calling the notion that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" a myth."So what should we do about reducing airline hijacking? Give all the passengers guns as they walk on?"

RELATED: Trump holds a listening session on school safety

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President Trump holds a listening session to discuss school safety
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Samuel Zeif wipes tears next to Nicole Hockley of Sandy Hook Promise as U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a listening session with high school shooting survivors and students to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump (C), with US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (2nd L) and Vice President Muike Pence (2nd R), bows his head during a prayer before taking in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, center, speaks during a listening session with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, on gun violence with high school students, teachers and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Trump promised on Wednesday to act quickly to prevent more school shootings as often-tearful, occasionally angry survivors and parents of victims poured out their frustration to him in a remarkable White House meeting. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump holds his prepared questions as he hosts a listening session with high school students and teachers to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Parent Melissa Blank (L) and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting surviving students Jonathan Blank (C) and Julia Cordover (R) listen to other survivors and the families of victims as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a listening session to discuss school safety and shootings at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks watches as US President Donald Trump takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice President Mike Pence takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. Trump promised more stringent background checks on gun owners Wednesday as he hosted a group of students who survived last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Nicole Hockley, mother of a slain Sandy Hook Elementary School student, attends a listening session hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump for school shooting survivors and students in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting surviving students Jonathan Blank (2nd L) and Julia Cordover (2nd R) as well as Jonathan's mother Melissa Blank (L) listen along with U.S. President Donald Trump as survivors and the relatives of victims speak during a listening session with high school students, family members and teachers to discuss school safety and guns at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) Andrew Pollack (2nd L), whose daughter Meadow Pollack was shot to death last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is joined by his sons as he addresses a listening session with U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted the session about school safety in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a listening session with high school students and teachers to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a listening session with student survivors of school shootings, their parents, teachers and others in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted the session in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a listening session with high school students and teachers to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a listening session with high school students and teachers to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Samuel Zeif cries after his remarks to U.S. President Donald Trump during his listening session with school shooting survivors and students at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to host a listening session with high school students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and teachers to discuss school safety at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Samuel Zeif, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, cries after speaking at a listening session with U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, on gun violence with high school students, teachers and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Trump promised on Wednesday to act quickly to prevent more school shootings as often-tearful, occasionally angry survivors and parents of victims poured out their frustration to him in a remarkable White House meeting. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. Trump vows 'strong background checks' as he met with school shooting survivors. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting surviving students Jonathan Blank receives a hug from Sandy Hook parent Mark Barden (back to camera), whose son Daniel was a victim of the Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut, after U.S. President Donald Trump held a listening session with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors and students at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump departs after a listening session with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors and students at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School parent Andrew Pollack discusses the death of his daughter Meadow in the Parkland school shooting as he and his sons attend a listening session on school safety and shootings with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. Trump vows 'strong background checks' as he met with school shooting survivors. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Samuel Zeif gestures a "zero" and says that he believes Australia solved their school shooting problem by banning firearms, when delivering his remarks to U.S. President Donald Trump during his listening session with school shooting survivors and students at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Samuel Zeif (L) talks about a friend who was shot and killed as he delivers his remarks to U.S. President Donald Trump during a listening session with school shooting survivors and students at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (C) and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks (R) attends a listening session hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump with student survivors of school shootings, their parents and teachers in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump is hosting the session in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Jonathan Blank and his mother Melissa Blank (L) before hosting a listening session school shooting survivors, their parents, teachers and others in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted the session in the wake of last week's mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a listening session on gun violence with high school students, teachers and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Trump promised on Wednesday to act quickly to prevent more school shootings as often-tearful, occasionally angry survivors and parents of victims poured out their frustration to him in a remarkable White House meeting. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, greets Samuel Zeif, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, at a listening session on gun violence with high school students, teachers and parents in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Trump promised on Wednesday to act quickly to prevent more school shootings as often-tearful, occasionally angry survivors and parents of victims poured out their frustration to him in a remarkable White House meeting. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump listens as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Carson Abt speaks during a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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"So what should we do about reducing airline hijacking? Give all the passengers guns as they walk on?"

"There could be instances of real confusion that would lead to tragedy if we had more guns in more classrooms," Gardiner said. "What about the time the teacher accidentally leaves the gun unlocked in the desk drawer, and it's picked up by a student? Think about the burden on schools to make sure the teachers are safe to carry guns. Who's doing that checking and monitoring and retraining?"

Statistics show that states with stricter gun laws and fewer guns have less overall gun violence than those with more lax laws and more guns. Hemenway, who has done extensive research on guns, said it boils down to access to weapons.

"The evidence is overwhelming, starting at the home. A gun in the home increases the risk that people in the home will die. That's because there's more suicides, more gun accidents, and more homicides," he said.

Related: How the internet's conspiracy theorists turned Parkland students into 'crisis actors'

The experts added that even with proper firearms training, to expect a teacher to be able to shoot down an attacker — and not accidentally injure anyone else — is highly unlikely.

"To be trained is not just about shooting. Your heart is beating like crazy, your adrenaline is all over your body, and you have to make a wise decision about what to do," Hemenway said.

Brian Levin, a former officer with the New York Police Department, said in the heat of the moment, it's too easy to misfire. He recalled a time early in his career when he almost shot an unarmed man fleeing a shooting scene.

"Often times when you're having an adrenaline-filled situation, you're not sure who the target is," said Levin, who is now a criminal justice professor at California State University, San Bernardino.

Not everyone is opposed to arming schoolteachers: In a Washington Post-ABC News poll out this week, 42 percent of Americans said allowing teachers to carry guns could have deterred the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.

And after the Sandy Hook shooting, about 200 teachers in Utah partook in a free gun training course, led by firearm activists who argued that armed teachers could thwart shooting rampages in their schools. Hundreds more in Butler County, Ohio, signed up for a similar class after the Parkland shooting.

But many prominent figures in education are slamming the idea.

"Educators need to be focused on teaching our students. We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of those who want to use them to massacre innocent children and educators. Arming teachers does nothing to prevent that," said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators in the U.S.

Related: How the Parkland students became advocates for gun reform

Even pro-gun educators don't necessarily support Trump's plan. Dr. Joshua Grubbs, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, owns multiple guns — but said he couldn't imagine bringing them to class.

"Even under the most ideal conditions, shooting with a handgun is extremely hard. Practically speaking, on a range with ear protection on, at complete peace, that's hard and takes a lot of skills," he said.

More importantly, he said, bringing a gun into class creates an adversarial dynamic.

"You're asking teachers, instead of seeing the best in students, to constantly be on guard for a student that might be a threat," Grubbs said. "It's no longer a safe place for you to learn. It puts the teacher more in a law enforcement role. You relate differently to a teacher than you do to a police officer — and you should relate differently."

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Parkland shooting, told MSNBC on Thursday that the massacre would have been much worse had teachers been armed.

"You had pandemonium, you had kids running all over, teachers running all over. Everyone was trying to get to a safe place," Guttenberg said. "You would've had a shootout, with all these kids and people running all over. That would not have saved lives. It would have led to further loss of life."

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