After a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas school this week, former President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that the country should make it easier to jail “deranged” individuals and eliminate gun-free zones.

“Clearly, we need to make it far easier to confine the violent and mentally deranged into mental institutions,” Trump said during a speech at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston.

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The tragic shooting of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday by an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon has once again focused attention on the NRA, a significant fundraiser to members of Congress, largely Republicans.

Regarding school security, Trump suggested that each school have a single point of access, sturdy fencing, and metal detectors, as well as a police official or an armed guard on duty at all times.

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“This is not a matter of money. This is a matter of will. If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we can do this,” he was alluding to Washington’s financial and military assistance to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February.

The former US president has advocated for the abolition of gun-free school zones, claiming that such zones left victims defenceless in the event of an armed attack.

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“As the age-old saying goes, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Trump added. “The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens.”

The main auditorium in Houston, which seats about 3,600 people, was about half-full when Trump ascended the stage on Friday afternoon, as seen in videos available online.