NRA Calls for More Guns in Schools
In a tone-deaf response to the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday that left 26 dead, including 20 children, the National Rifle Association this morning blamed “gun-free” zones for the massacre and called for an armed police officer in every school.
The statements were stunning in their lack of recognition that public opinion is turning against the easy access to firearms, including deadly assault weapons. The U.S. already has the most lax gun laws in the world.
“Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a press conference. “And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
Proving how dangerous the NRA is, LaPierre actually compared schools to banks, courthouses and presidents, who have armed guards protecting them. “Why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in their schools?” he asked. “They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them — it’s our right to protect them.”
Arming school teachers
The gun group’s statements come as the nation’s leaders grapple with how to respond to last week’s appalling shootings, which is the latest in a string of tragic massacres over the past few years. Some politicians have broken their silence on gun violence and their subservience to the NRA by proposing new restrictions to curtail easy access to deadly weapons, but a number of others have taken the opposite tack — calling for more guns, not fewer.
Texas Representative Louie Gohmert said that he “wished to God” that the Sandy Hook principal had been armed. Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was among a number of prominent republicans who called for arming school teachers.
The NRA’s statement followed a similar line of argument. LaPierre also cast blame on violent video games and movies for promoting a culture of murder. The media, he claims, cultivates killing for entertainment while at the same time pointing the finger at gun owners after massacres like Sandy Hook.
Rather than restrict any right for the average citizen to acquire an arsenal, we should instead do a better job guarding our children, the NRA leader said. “I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school,” he said, and made an offer for the NRA to help with training and implementation of safety programs.
“If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities,” LaPierre said, “we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained — armed — good guy.”