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NRA Calls for 'Armed Security' Around Schools

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said.

In an amazing Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work 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."

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

At the grassroots level, groups like Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown parent, coach and resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, Conn., said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys'."

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Kenneth Stepp December 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM
My son, Daniel, is a combat vet. He said there are plenty of well trained unemployed soldiers in America that would be a perfect fit as armed guards at public schools. I had not thought of it, but that makes sense. School systems couldn't afford this kind of training. But hiring people that already has it would be a great solution.
George Wilson December 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM
When you are in trouble with a position, like Wayne Pierre and the NRA, you do what most people do: 1. Change the subject (guards needed in schools) 2. Blame it on someone else (the media and the entertainment business) 3. Deny it (when did guns become the villain asked Wayne LaPierre rhetorically during his news conference?) Let's start from the top with number one. Most schools have security officers, Virginia Tech and Columbine did and many schools already do. Do we also include guards at most locations where people congregate; ie, movies, ball games, etc.? The expense for schools would be about 6.7 billion dollars .Who pays? The Republicans have over the last ten years cut five billion from schools in Georgia. Where will schools get the money? Perhaps a special tax on bullets and guns could be passed? Lets' take the number two argument. Japan is noted for its extremely violent video games yet the per capita deaths by guns is very small .This also applies to Germany,Canada,Great Britain, and other countries they also looks at the same movies we do and play the same video games. The number three argument is the gun industry is enjoying a boom with 5 % of the world's population the United state owns 50% of all guns. Wayne LaPierre is paid over one million dollars a years in salary. This money comes from the gun industry and the 4 million members that the NRA keeps in a constant state of agitation and fear in order to keep the money coming in.
George Wilson December 22, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Lets play follow the money and responsibility for the massacre at Sandy Hook. The military-style assault weapon used to kill most of the victims in last week's Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut was a Bushmaster XM-15 .223 caliber rifle, manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms International LLC, which is owned by the Freedom Group of Madison, N.C. Cerberus Capital Management is a the private equity firm that owns the Freedom Group -based in New York City, Cerberus is owned by billionaire financier Stephen A. Feinberg. Freedom Group is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial firearms, ammunition and accessories, owning brands that in addition to Bushmaster include Remington, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, Advanced Armament Corp., Dakota Arms, Para USA, Barnes Bullets and TAPCO. Despite the sluggish economy, the Freedom Group has been doing well, with sales up 20 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to its third-quarter financial report. Sales made to Arkansas-based Wal-Mart accounts for a substantial portion of the company's total sales at about 13 percent. George Kollitides, the chair and interim CEO of the Freedom Group, is a major Republican donor. A former managing director for Cerberus, he contributed $10,000 to the Republican National Committee in October and $2,500 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in May.Finally Dan Quail serves on the Board of Directors of Cerberus.

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