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 Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association (NRA) 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.

Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said that the NRA recommendation is "one of the topics we have been discussing internally as we look at the best ways to improve security at our schools." 

Guthrie said that at the Jan. 9 Public Board of Education meeting, he will be making a recommendation that the Board form a “Security Advisory Committee” comprised of various county agencies with law enforcement and parents included as a part of that committee. 

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.

Native December 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Finally, some common sense. The elephant-in -the-room fact is that those children would be alive today if armed guards had been in the school.
Angela Lee December 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
That isn't commonsense, at all! We need to reinstitute the federal assault weapon ban, for starters. No civilian needs an assault weapon - unless they are paranoid and think a small army is about to attack them - in which case I would suggest a good psychiatrist would help. No hunter uses assault weapons - unless they are hunting humans - in mass. In my opinion, people like Wayne LaPierre are bizarre weenies and yesterday's 'NRA press conference' was totally disgraceful! Children's lives come before boys playing with assault rifles.
Ed December 23, 2012 at 03:40 AM
So let's see, our board of ed either has to hire at least 43 security guards (more to cover vacations, sick days, high schools with multiple entrances) OR we have to assign at least 43 cops to this duy. Of course when you eliminate police administrators, detectives and those testifying in court, 43 cops is probably more than three-quarters of all the state/county/municipal officers on duty during a typical day shift in Carroll County. Yeah, makes sense to me.


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