In what was a rather stunning, half-hour press conference, the National Rifle Association called on Congress to put armed police officers in every school in America. The highly anticipated press conference came one week after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last week.
CEO Wayne LaPierre blamed many things in his press conference for the influx of mass shootings in the US — everything from gun-free school zones, the media, movies, violent video games, hurricanes, and a lack of government funding.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.
At the same time, he deflected any criticism the organization has taken over the past week, saying the organization "remained respectfully silent." He was interrupted by two separate protestors at the event, after which the NRA did not take questions.
LaPierre said that the NRA is calling on Congress to put armed security guards in every school. The NRA has set up a website to advance the cause.
"The only way — the only way — to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan for protection," LaPierre said. He added that gun-free zones "tells every killer that schools are the safest place" to go and carry out mass shootings.
LaPierre questioned what would have happened if there was armed security at the school:
"What if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, he was confronted by qualified armed security? ... 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day," he said.
LaPierre also blamed lack of government funding.
"With all the foreign aid … with all the money in federal budget … can't we afford to put a police officer in every school?"
A lesser part of his speech placed blame on a media culture that he suggested promoted violence. He took aim at celebrities, video games and movies for advancing that culture.
"Another little dirty secret the media tries to conceal," LaPierre says, is "a callous corrupt and disgusting shadow industry...vicious violent video games." He then called violent films "the filthiest form of pornography."
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