Earlier today, Wayne LaPierre, the CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, held its first press conference since the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT. LaPierre expressed condolences on behalf of the 4 million NRA members, and called for further discussions on how to effectively protect children in what once was the safe haven of their school.
He spoke about gun-free zones, and how politicians and the media praise them for being bastions of safety, while in reality they only advertise the safest places for the most insane or evil people to "inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk".
Banks are commonly protected by armed guards, along with airports, power plants, politicians, and sports stadiums, and LaPierre asks why, "when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family – our children – [do] we as a society leave them utterly defenseless".
Instead of guns being the problem, the NRA believes that some of the true sources are violence in the media and entertainment, the widespread demonization of millions of lawful gun owners, and the "dangerous notion that one more gun ban – or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people – will protect us where 20,000 others have failed".
LaPierre continues, expressing how puzzling it is for the media to assign the human attribute of "evil" to an inanimate object, and in reference to the outcry against the push to use firearms to defend schools, why it seems so difficult for people to grasp "the idea of a gun [being] 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 the schools". He asks everyone to "at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared" had Adam Lanza been immediately confronted by armed and qualified security.
He implored Congress to act immediately to appropriate whatever programs or funding are needed to put armed police officers in every school nationwide, and that this is done before our nation's children return to school in January after the holidays. The NRA is willing, able, and ready to help ensure that this important layer of protection is put into place as quickly as possible.
A model National School Shield Emergency Response program – a multi-faceted program that examines everything from building design, access control, armed security, and training for both teachers and students – will be created for any school that wants it. Asa Hutchinson, a former U.S. congressman, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, and former administrator of the DEA, has been tapped as the head of this effort.
LaPierre concludes by calling on everybody to act now and help protect our children by participating in the National School Shield program, and to not allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us.
The full transcript of this press conference is available at http://home.nra.org/pdf/Transcript_PDF.pdf
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