- (Photo: REUTERS)
- (Photo: REUTERS)
Wayne LaPierre, who has led the National Rifle Association for many years, today called for more police protection in schools in the wake of last Friday's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
"I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation, and to do it now," LaPierre said.
LaPierre was quick to address the group's silence since last week's shooting, saying the gun rights groups choose to remain "respectfully silent."
"Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment," said LaPierre. "While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent."
The NRA leader fired back at lawmakers and others who have criticized the group as nothing more than an organization who wants to put a gun in the hand of every citizen.
LaPierre called out the media for their ignorance on what constitutes an assault rifle and for describing the Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle used in the Sandy Hook shooting as one of the most powerful on the market, both of which he said was inaccurate and poor reporting.
But the issue of school safety was where he spent the majority of his time discussing.
"As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad buy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away."
LaPierre said that former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) would become the national director of the National School Shield Emergency Response Program to program armed security in all public schools, work on proper building design and to better train teachers on how to respond when criminals approach or enter their schools.
He also was highly critical of the entertainment industry for designing and promoting video programs as Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse and movies such as "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers."
"If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained – armed – good guy," commented LaPierre.
Only moments after LaPierre ended his press conference did opponents come forth criticizing the gun rights organization.
"A week after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association's only response has been to urge Americans to put armed guards in every school," the Rev. Gary Hall of Washington National Cathedral said in a written statement. "That the NRA seeks to answer the problem of violence with more violence shows that their answers are directly at odds with the teachings of all faith traditions of the vast majority of people of faith in America."
The NRA is calling on Congress or appropriate funding immediately to address the issue of school safety. Meanwhile, President Obama has named a task force to examine federal gun control laws.