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NRA Calls for 'Armed Security' Around Schools

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said.

In a Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

In a local reacion to the shooting, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) formed Joint Task Force on School Safety, a collaboration with the county government. The task force is chaired by Chief of Police William McMahon, HCPSS Executive Director of School Improvement and Administration William Ryan, and HCPSS Acting Chief of Operations and Finance Ken Roey.

At the grassroots level in Connecticut, groups like Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, CT said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"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 level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys'."

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

The Howard County Public School System did not respond to a request for a statement as of Friday evening. 

Robert Rey December 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
This guy is right on. The NRA made a bold statement yesterday. I agree that guns don't kill people. People kill people. The filth that is in our media and entertainment is to blame. We are subjecting children to this porn, and I am afraid its only getting worse as time goes on.
Kenneth A. Stevens December 22, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I wish gun sellers had to jump through as many hoops to sell their instruments of death that I do here just to make a comment.
Kenneth A. Stevens December 22, 2012 at 01:58 PM
For me, the filth that is here are gun sellers and their apologists.
MG42 December 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Ken- you are obviously completely ignorant of what hoops gun sellers have to jump through. You are very emotional right now, perhaps wait until you can think logically before leaving comments.
Robert Wickline December 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I completely agree with you Robert. I thought it was a good idea by the NRA and yet the left wing media attack them for it as if it is some radically extreme idea when in fact we have been doing it in our high schools for years.
Robert Wickline December 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM
You are obviously ignorant of the strict requirements that are in place for the purchase of a firearm. If you choose to not have a firearm that is your business but I prefer to have a firearm in the event that I need to protect my family. Why do you think police officers have guns? To protect themselves!
Kenneth A. Stevens December 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Well, I think you guys are ignorant too. It's obvious why police officers need to have guns. There are too many other guns out there that are used too often by mental cases or the criminally inclined. I'm in favor of making it more difficult for these people to get their hands on these instruments of death and/or aids to criminal activity. If you're not, we disagree. We'll see how it goes from here.
MyBrandy December 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I am with Kenneth. Obviously, police need guns because of the nature of their jobs. While I do not wish to own a gun, I am OK with those of you who wish to own hand guns or hunting rifles/shot guns. I am NOT ok with private citizens owning assault weapons, makes no sense. For what? I have read that there was an armed officer at Columbine, as we have in many high schools these days, and that didn't prevent the tragedy there.
MG42 December 23, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Citizens need assault weapons to defend against state corruption and tyranny. Political power, as our founding fathers demonstrated, grows from the barrel of a gun. Besides, by disarming the public of their assault rifles you are putting all the good guns in control of government, who in cased you haven't noticed is led by a congress that has an approval rating of about 20%. Those stooges also have put us several hundred trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities. You want to give those people all the good guns? They are too irresponsible. By disarming the public, you are asking for a police state. You, ma'am, are a sheep.
MG42 December 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Do you even know what "ignorant" means? I'm not ignorant because I disagree with you. You, however, are totally ignorant for thinking that it's harder to leave a blog comment than to sell guns. Also, your name calling does not help your case. I don't appreciate someone like you calling me "filth".

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