A week after the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the National Rifle Association on Friday said the answer is more guns.
“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.
At a press conference, LaPierre said the imperative, in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., was to better post armed guardians -- including security professionals or police officers -- who can protect schoolchildren from another gunman. He also said schools must act put in place comprehensive emergency plans.
“Politicians passed laws for gun-free school zones, they issued press releases bragging about them, they post signs advertising them and in doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” LaPierre said.
“The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection," LaPierre added later. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
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Drawing a parallel to the fact that banks post armed guards, LaPierre warned that another shooting is inevitable.
“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?” LaPierre said, naming the Newtown shooter.
LaPierre began his press conference by referencing “the noise and anger directed at” the NRA since Newtown, words that foreshadowed two separate interruptions by activists displaying banners accusing the NRA of being complicit in Sandy Hook. One of the signs, bearing the name of the activist organization CODEPINK, bore the words NRA KILLING OUR KIDS.
LaPierre confronted that criticism head on, denouncing those who seek to “exploit tragedy for political gain” and repeatedly saying the media has distorted the issue by demonizing the NRA. He said violent movies and video games deserve a large share of the blame, at one point gesturing to a screen displaying an online video game called “Kindergarten Killers.”
“How come my research staff could find it and all of yours couldn’t or didn’t know how to find it?” LaPierre asked members of the media attending the conference.
Until now, the NRA had largely exempted itself from the post-Newtown soul searching in Washington. The organization deactivated its Facebook page, stopped sending tweets on its official Twitter account and waited several days to release a statement suggesting that it was “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to put forth new legislation, delegating Vice President Joe Biden to gather ideas from the cabinet. Numerous Democratic lawmakers have said they will pursue gun control in the upcoming Congress.