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.

The Fairfax-based National Rifle Association on Friday broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, Conn., 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 Barack Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action. Virginia's Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat with an 'A' rating from the NRA, has called the massacre a "game changer" and begun advocating for stricter gun laws. And Thursday, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., introduced five gun reform safety measures that he said had significant support among NRA members.

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.

In stark contrast, LaPierre called for a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who could 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.

In his speech, LaPierre also accused the media of selling "violence against its own people" through violent video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. He did not take questions from reporters and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Soon afterward, Moran issued a statement calling the press conference "appalling," and saying, "Even more firearms are not the solution to reducing gun violence."

"Preventing gun-related massacres, like what occurred at Virginia Tech and in Newtown, Connecticut, requires a comprehensive approach that includes tackling mental health issues, looking at ways to better secure our schools, and changing our culture of violence," Moran said in the statement.

"But perhaps more importantly, it means tackling the gun epidemic in this country with sensible gun safety reforms. The NRA attempted to completely shirk their responsibility to that key piece of this puzzle. It was galling, and an overreach, and it may well backfire on them as the public reviews LaPierre’s statements.”

More on the NRA and guns in schools in Virginia

Marshall: Some School Staff should Carry Guns

Sen. Warner: Newtown a 'Game Changer' on Guns

Speak Out: Should Teachers Be Armed?

Arlington Patch Editor Jason Spencer contributed to this report.

Carol Malone December 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Teachers have committed crimes against students so should we now arm them? I care about a society that had a strong moral compass based on Christ to deteriorate to an I compass based on crisis after crisis. Who would it hurt to reinstituting prayer in school, to hold people accountable for their own actions, reopen institutions for the insane for psychological treatment, to refrain from making a series of violent and sexual movies? I believe a great majority of us know the answer but are we willing to take the necessary steps to love God with all our heart, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. You decide and make that choice today.
Sister Pam Pranke OPA December 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Not in my lifetime. This is the worst idea they could conceive.
Austin Davis December 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM
As a parent and gun owner I have no problem with a teacher or staff from schools that are properly trained to carry a firearm to protect the most valuable resource our children. Sincerely Austin Davis
Simple truth December 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM
When people are missing that part of the brain that tells us rite from wrong, they are going to act in the way rheu do weather pr not a gun is available. Lets say there are bo guns. Im surw we all remember the okc bombing.....not a single shot fired.
Steven December 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If they takeaway the good guys guns, the only ones that will have guns are the bad guys. The good guys will then not be protected, and the bad guys will then easily kill more good guys. They would know the good guys have no gun to defend themselves or other good guys. Seriously it makes it easier for them to kill more good people.


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