NRA calls for armed police in all schools
by Philip Elliott, Associated Press and Nedra Pickler
December 21, 2012 11:48 AM | 1710 views | 12 12 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre pauses as he makes a statement during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting, on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
The National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre pauses as he makes a statement during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting, on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
slideshow
WASHINGTON — Guns and police officers in all American schools are what’s needed to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings,” the National Rifle Association declared Friday, taking a no-retreat stance in the face of growing calls for gun control after the Connecticut shootings that claimed the lives of 26 children and school staff.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the group’s chief executive officer.

Some members of Congress who had long scoffed at gun-control proposals have begun to suggest some concessions could be made, and a fierce debate over legislation seems likely next month. President Barack Obama has demanded “real action, right now.”

The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby broke its weeklong silence on the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School with a defiant presentation. The event was billed as a news conference, but NRA leaders took no questions. Twice, they were interrupted by banner-waving protesters, who were removed by security.

Some had predicted that after the slaughter of a score of elementary-school children by a man using a semi-automatic rifle, the group might soften its stance, at least slightly. Instead, LaPierre delivered a 25-minute tirade against the notion that another gun law would stop killings in a culture where children are exposed daily to violence in video games, movies and music videos. He argued that guns are the solution, not the problem.

“Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else; as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work,” LaPierre said. “And by that I mean armed security.”

He said Congress should immediately appropriate funds to post an armed police officer in every school. Meanwhile, he said the NRA would develop a school emergency response program that would include volunteers from the group’s 4.3 million members to help guard children.

His armed-officers idea was immediately lambasted by gun control advocates, and not even the NRA’s point man on the effort seemed willing to go so far. Former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, whom LaPierre named national director of the program, said in an interview that decisions about armed guards in schools should be made by local districts.

“I think everyone recognizes that an armed presence in schools is sometimes appropriate,” Hutchinson said. “That is one option. I would never want to have a mandatory requirement for every school district to have that.”

He also noted that some states would have to change their laws to allow armed guards at schools.

Hutchinson said he’ll offer a plan in January that will consider other measures such as biometric entry points, patrols and consideration of school layouts to protect security.

LaPierre argued that guards need to be in place quickly because “the next Adam Lanza,” the suspected shooter in Newtown, Conn., is already planning an attack on another school.

“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark?” LaPierre asked. “A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”

While there is a federally maintained database of the mentally ill — people so declared by their states — a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that states can’t be required to contribute information has left significant gaps. In any case, creation of a mandatory national database probably would have had little impact on the ability of suspected shooters in four mass shootings since 2011 to get and use powerful weapons. The other people accused either stole the weapons used in the attacks or had not been ruled by courts to be “mentally defective” before the shootings.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the NRA is blaming everyone but itself for a national gun crisis and is offering “a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) called the NRA’s response “both ludicrous and insulting” and pointed out that armed personnel at Columbine High School and Fort Hood could not stop mass shootings. The liberal group CREDO, which organized an anti-NRA protest on Capitol Hill, called LaPierre’s speech “bizarre and quite frankly paranoid.”

“This must be a wake-up call even to the NRA’s own members that the NRA’s Washington lobbyists need to stand down and let Congress pass sensible gun control laws now,” CREDO political director Becky Bond said in a statement.
Comments
(12)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Lib in Cobb
|
December 22, 2012
Unhinged! There is nothing more despicable than the NRA and it's leadership.
Bro Thomas
|
December 22, 2012
NO, never arm these folks! How absurd, we must continue Obama's policies and teach our children to be victims. Yes, a few may die, but thats for the greater good. We must ensure that people live on welfare, have kids like rabbits who know nothing of history, self responsibility, or integrity. They must know how to play video games, listen to rap, and emulate sports thugs (just so they can know what shoes to kill for). We must ensure the continued eradication of character in our society. How dare the NRA to think like old school patriots! Those dinosaurs will do anything to keep folks strong and self-reliant. No, no, no... we must hate our past and strive for the common good of all the lazy and entitled - after all, they are the one's who voted Obama into office.
Lib in Cobb
|
December 22, 2012
Should we also put armed guards in all movie theaters, restaurants, all over every college campus, at the front and back door of every home and apartment building, in every office building, in every factory, in every business?

MADD Mother
|
December 22, 2012
The NRA has become little more than a lobbying group to keep firearms dealers busy selling guns and law enforcement busy guarding every aspect of our lives.
Too funny
|
December 21, 2012
idiots...
anonymous
|
December 21, 2012
This guy made so much sense today and his critics look like idiots.

How can a gun in the hands of the Secret Service, guarding the president, be ok, while other guns are not? How can liberals say it's ok for armed guards to protect Congress, but not our children?

Asa Hutchinson is a great pick to head up their project Shield, and hiring retired military and other qualified people is a great idea. But there is no way the liberal media will even print the NRA ideas...people might start agreeing with them if they actually took time to hear. I joined the NRA today, even though I don't own guns.
VFP42
|
December 21, 2012
WOW what a "living in a bubble" miscalculation.

The NRA is fixing to self immolate same as the Republican party.

Good.
in Cobb
|
December 21, 2012
Putting a specially trained campus police officer in each CCSD elementary school would cost about $3.5 million a year (including benefits), which would represent LESS than 0.5% of the approximately $800 million annual operating budget
Lib in Cobb
|
December 22, 2012
Every teacher in Cobb has had their income reduced and they are taking more out of their own pockets to supply their classrooms. Before you start spending their money, find a way to return their income to what it was several years ago and return the classroom supply dollars.

A better idea is that the NRA and people who support them should contribute the funds needed to pay for this program in each school.
East Cobber
|
December 21, 2012
Great idea, now pony up the funding...
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides