During their first press conference since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week in Newtown, Conn. leaders from the National Rifle Association offered the country a National School Shield Safety Program as an immediate way to protect children from violent killers during a press conference today in Washington D.C.
“While some have tried to exploit the tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said. “Nobody has addressed the most important pressing and immediate question...How do we protect our children today?”
LaPierre discussed in detail an inconvenient fact many in the media and on Capitol Hill have failed to acknowledge: gun free school zones leave children vulnerable to violent attacks carried out by madmen. LaPierre said making schools gun free over the years has simply told “every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with little risk.”
America airports, power plants, court houses, sports stadiums, office buildings and other important infrastructure are heavily protected by armed police or security but our schools, are not.
“We care about our President so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents,” LaPierre said. “We as a society leave them [children in schools] utterly defenseless and the monsters and the predators of the world exploit it.”
LaPierre called for an armed police officer to be placed into every school in the country, something he called for after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007. He also focused heavily on the criminal aspect of violent mass shootings during his remarks.
“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to place police officers in every school,” he said. “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 security possible. The only way to do that is with properly trained good guys.”
LaPierre volunteered NRA resources to help train and protect America’s children as part of a National School Shield Safety Program. The NRA has 16,000 trained police officers ready and willing to train others. Former Drug Enforcement Administration Director Asa Hutchinson reiterated the need for trained and armed security at American schools.
“I believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of difference and the last line of defense,” Hutchinson said, adding that the National School Shield Safety Program won’t require massive federal and local resources, but is based on local volunteering and can be tailored to fit the needs of each school.
After offering solutions to preventing another mass shooting, LaPierre berated the media and the Washington D.C. political class for mischaracterizing and smearing the majority of America’s gun owners.
“The media demonizes lawful gun owners. The media calls semi-automatic firearms machine guns. They tell us the .223 round is one of the most powerful. They don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said.
LaPierre also slammed the violent video game industry and culture in America. During his remarks, LaPierre showed the press an online video game called, “Kindergarten Killers,” and asked why they had ignored its existence.
“Isn’t fantasizing about killing people all day really the filthiest form of pornography?” he said. “A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders [through media and Hollywood].”
NRA President David Keene said today’s press conference was just the beginning of a serious conversation about how to prevent another shooting tragedy in our schools.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said. “It’s time to assume responsibility for our schools....The only way to stop a monster is to be personally involved.”