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NRA's LaPierre Calls for 'Armed Security' Around Schools

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.

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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.

This call comes the same week Dakota County Sheriff spoke out about the need to change gun laws so that people with serious mental health issues do not have access to firearms. Gun permit requests tripled in Dakota County in the days after the Newtown shooting.

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, CT 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.

RELATED:   

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  • District 196 Superintendent's Message to Staff After Connecticut Shooting
  • Updated: Walmart And Dick's Sporting Goods Suspend Some Rifle Sales Nationwide
  • How Can I Help Families Affected by Newtown School Shooting?
  • Talking To Your Kids About Newtown Tragedy
  • Thoughts on the Newtown Tragedy
Joan Schulan December 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Computer glitch. Don't know if my comments went through. To repeat, LaPierre is either stupid or insane. He apparently (in his own interests) wants the U. S. to become a police state. Armed guards in schools? What about armed guards in movie theatres (Aurora), what about armed guards in shopping malls, what about armed guards anywhere people gather (Gabby Giffords)? Even President Kennedy couldn't be saved from someone with a gun! Fewer guns and much greater gun control is the only logical, rational answer. No, it won't prevent some determined crazies, but if even one life is saved, major change NOW is absolutely critical. Oh, in answer to greater access to mental health professionals - the crazy person has to (know he or she is crazy and) ask for and go to the help. Having help accessible is also NOT an total answer. That AND fewer guns available are the only possible ways to try to stop some of this insanity of massacres of innocent and helpless people of any age. The NRA has to start taking responsibility and stop blaming anything and anyone else they can come up with to protect their own interests.
Joan Schulan December 22, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I am not so sure in any event that armed guards in schools will help kids emotionally. It says "someone may try to kill you so we're here to (try and) prevent that". Great, that and the kids constantly seeing someone carrying a gun should be a real help. Seeing the guns I wonder if some kids will get an urge to try one for themselves! Not the best plan long-term. Gun control is the only possible beginning that will prevent at least some of these awful things from happening.
Joan Schulan December 22, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Forgot - who does LaPierre think is going to pay for all these additional police? The NRA?

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