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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, 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.

Jim Byrne December 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Awful, just awful.
Bob Zahm December 21, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Jim - you may not agree with the guy's ignoring gun control, but he's the first person I've heard speak to the broader issue. Regulating gun sales will not stop the killing. It may, at some undetermined point in the future, reduce the frequency of the killings, but it won't stop them. Doing that requires action to secure guns already in peoples' homes; reducing the number of guns in circulation; improving physical safety at schools and other places of public assembly; and doing something about our culture which lauds violence as seen in various forms of entertainment.
Racman63 December 21, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Bob: That's why any legislation passed next year most outlaw POSSESSION of assault weapons and large capacity mags. And that's why we have to stay proactive, vocal and push our legislators because if we don't all we'll get is future manufacture and sale (and maybe importation which is another issue) As for Mr. LaPierre, his was an unmitigated P.R. disaster! All he had to do, all he should have done, was express sympathy and commit the N.R.A. to dialogue. But what ensued was a spectacular display of complete arrogance and stupidity. What insurance company will ever insure the liabilty for having armed guns in schools? And who's going to pay the salaries, benefits, training etc? The already cash strapped property tax payer? Or is this just another example of the back door tax that conservatives like to impose all the while taking about less government and less taxes. Wayne LaPierre has proved himself to be nothing more than the nut that he is.
Nancy C. Wasserman December 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Mr. LaPierre does not deserve the attention he is receiving. He should be ignored.There is no discussion,when guns are banned for personal use of any kind the killing will stop. I am in Japan at this time,nobody has a gun here.The greater good of the community supersedes individual rights. One does not have to worry about personal safety in this country. Maybe we should consider interpreting and changing the second amendment. The legislators who ignore and vote against gun control are pandering to those constituents who want guns. Its the almighty vote.Lets get out and vote them out. Nancy C. Wasserman The only way to be safe is to have no guns at all.
Paul Tillotson December 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Mr. LaPierre appears to have performed an impressive display of self-defense by shooting himself in the foot with a microphone ! Of course gun violence cannot be eliminated from any society ( neither can drugs,alcoholism, poverty or prostitution ) since the factor of human imperfection is a constant. Total security is an illusion but using a traffic analogy, less cars means less fatalities & less guns will mean less fatalities. If America does not feel safe enough with 300 million guns in circulation how many will be sufficient to provide that cosy sense of security & freedom ?
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 22, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Nancy, stay in Japan, please. This country was founded on individual freedoms.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 22, 2012 at 03:33 AM
You all are just not willing to listen to reason.
Paul Tillotson December 22, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Comments of truly Socratic depth for the discussion & most illuminative of the quality of thought behind them.
peter cinelli December 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM
If someone breaks into my house and threatens my family and children, I'd prefer to have a gun in my hand to defend myself and my loved ones. Otherwise, my family and I are helpless sitting ducks ready to be slaughtered. Would you rather be huddled in the corner of your bedroom at night with your children waiting for the attacker to burst in having a flashlight in our hand or a gun to protect your family. Just because a mentality unstable person committed a horrific act, I should not have to have my guns taken away from me
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Yes Aunt Sandy, the solution can be a reasonable one like you mention. We don't need every single teacher armed to the teeth. Anti second amendment people always cite extremes to try and make their points
Ralph Tamlyn December 22, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Armed guards at schools will not solve the problem. Well designed schools have dozens of exits so that children can leave safely in case of fires. Do we need to put an armed guard every fifty feet around the perimeter of a school, and the playgrounds? That would solve the employment problem but would not help the deficit problem. We don't need guns in our homes. Owning guns did not help Nancy Lanza; she was the owner of many guns and well trained, yet her guns did not help her protect herself. As a first step, we don't need assault rifles of any type. We don't need any guns in our homes if no one has guns. Yes, it will take decades to eliminate the guns and the problem, but if we don't start to control guns we won't make things better. What does the "well regulated" part of the second amendment mean? Guns are not now well regulated, they need to be.
notbob December 22, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Who says guns aren't well regulated? Have you ever tried to obtain a pistol permit in Westchester County? Forget about trying to get a Concealed Carry, it is nigh impossible. When you obatin your 6th handgun in Westchester County you must allow the police into your house to inspect it, which in effect is a surrender of one right (4th amendment) to practice another right (2nd amendment). The Bushmaster rifle used in the horrific killing is NOT an assault rifle in any state or according to any past or present Federal law. It is amazing how the ignorant are trying to write laws to restrict the rights of the well-informed. Welcome to the rule of emotions and the low information voter.
Ralph Tamlyn December 22, 2012 at 08:43 PM
>Aunt Sandy: armed security on planes is an unfortunate, necessary evil. That does not lead me to want armed security guards surrounding children in schools. What will that tell children about how afraid they should be all the time? Shall we establish security perimeters around every important public place? Schools, churches, shopping centers, libraries, government buildings, office buildings, factories, etc. I admire the other countries in the world for having the courage to ban guns. They are not forcing their people to live in fear all the time.
Ralph Tamlyn December 22, 2012 at 08:58 PM
>notbob: Guns are not regulated because almost anyone, including those with criminal backgrounds and mental health problems can go to gun shows in many states, get guns and bring them anywhere they want, including Westchester. That is not legal of course, hence it will take many decades to resolve the problems of unregistered and illegal guns. Do you really want to quibble about the assault capabilities of the Bushmaster? It is a semi-automatic gun intended to kill people. The Bushmaster WAS BANNED in the 1994 and earlier laws as a duplicate AR15. See http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/103/hr4296/text So do you acknowledge contributing to the misinformation?
Aidan December 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Sandy, I think this is what you're proposing. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/texas-school-guardian-plan-allows-teachers-guns-174238129.html
notbob December 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM
>low information Here is a story from ABC news, "...the Bushmaster .223 rifle, is a type of AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, certain models of which were prohibited from being sold under the ban, but the Bushmaster model used by Lanza was not on that list. " (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/newtown-connecticut-shootings-assault-weapons-ban-work/story?id=18000724) It isn't really that difficult for gun manufacturers (or manufacturers of any product) to read a law and specifically design the products that people want to fit the law. It happens all the time and will always happen. You also made a point about illegal gun sales at gun shows. So if I understand it you want to pass a law that makes illegal gun sales illegal. I am sure that idea will save many of lives.
notbob December 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM
According to this article Utah has armed teachers and administrators. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/
Aidan December 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Ralph ... the presence of armed faculty/staff isn't to cover ground like a security force. It's a presence that might discourage ... and one that can react in a moment of need. There is no panacea save for a complete lock-down from morning til afternoon.
peter cinelli December 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
New York already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In Sandy Hook the shooter tried to purchase weapons and was denied. I have to agree with the NRA on this one. Regardless of gun laws, criminals will obtain weapons. Very few crimes are executed using leaglly registered weapons. The President and Anti gun zealots like Bloomberg want to disarm law abidding citizens yet they and their families are protected by armed guards. On the day of the shooting, Obama sent more armed guards to his daughter's schools. Yep... he made sure they were protected. Apparently, our politicians are saying that ordinary citizens dont have the right to arm themselves to protect their families. Since the President, Bloomberg and our senators remain protected with guns, yet they want to take them away from us,they are, in effect saying their lives and the lives of their families are more important than ours and our children's lives. I would prefer to have an armed law enforcement presence in my children's schools. There are armed guards in our airports, malls, jewelry stores, our political buildings etc. Why shouldn't parents have the right to protect the most important things in their lives... their children. If my home was under attack from intruders, I would want to have a high capacity weapon in my hands to save the lives of my family rather than to have to wait for 911 to come and rescue... by that time, it may be too late. Disarm the criminals, not the law abidding citizens.

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