NRA: Guns in Schools Would Protect Students
In a press conference reflecting on last week's massacre in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre today insisted that increased gun laws would not have prevented the violence that felled 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- and instead called on Congress to send armed police officers in every school in America.
LaPierre, whose remarks were interrupted twice by pro-gun control protesters, disdained the notion that stricter gun laws could have prevented "monsters" like Adam Lanza from committing mass shootings, and wondered why schools, unlike banks, don't have the protection of armed forces.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said.
Rolling out a proposal to help governments train and provide security at schools, Lapierre argued that children should benefit from the same protection Congress members enjoy.
"We must speak for the safety of our nation's children," said LaPierre. "We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums, are all protected by armed security. We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress works in offices surrounded by Capitol police officers, yet when it comes to our most beloved innocent and vulnerable members of the American family -- our children -- we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless. And the monsters and the predators of the world know it and exploit it."
"That must change now," argued Lapierre, moments before being interrupted by a protester carrying a large pink sign proclaiming that the "NRA is killing our kids." "The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters -- people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?"
In a statement announcing the press conference earlier this week, the NRA broke its post-Newtown silence to say it was "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
On Wednesday, President Obama announced the creation of a task force aimed at providing actionable policy ideas to prevent or reduce gun violence in America.
Vice President Joe Biden, a key author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, will helm the task force, and cabinet members and outside groups will be called on for ideas and contributions.
Many believe that in the wake of the tragedy, the political will to reinstate the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, will increase. The president long has supported a ban, but exerted little effort to get it passed during his first term. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, Mr. Obama also would support closing a "gun show loophole" allowing people to buy arms from private dealers without background checks, and would be interested in legislation limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines.