In its first news conference since last Friday’s deadly mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the National Rifle Association said that schools should have armed police officers to deter the threat of violence.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said Friday, according to the Washington Post. Congress, he said should act ”to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school in this nation.”
LaPierre, who took no questions from reporters, said that schools are a target for gunmen because there are no armed security personnel, unlike other government institutions.
“Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them … in doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” he added.
His speech was interrupted twice by protesters. One woman shouted: “The NRA has blood on its hands! … Ban assault weapons now!” She was escorted out of the room.
LaPierre focused his attention on the media’s coverage of the Connecticut mass shooting and similar incidents, saying they were partially to blame for the attack. He also blamed movies, video games, and music for the rise in America’s violent culture.
“In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes,” LaPierre said, reported The Associated Press.
He asked: “How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them?” according to NPR.
Before today’s press conference, the NRA had remained relatively silent, only issuing a short statement five days after the attack.
In the United States on Friday, church bells were rung 26 times in memorial the victims who died in the attack. Twenty of them were school children.
Over the week, President Obama indicated that the White House would pursue policies to strengthen gun control in the U.S., potentially supporting an assault weapons ban that will be introduced by Democratic lawmakers next month.
Nearly 200,000 people have signed a pro-gun control petition on the White House’s “We the People” website.
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