National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre tangled with NBC’s David Gregory over his Friday call to post armed security in schools, with the Meet the Press host telling LaPierre that if he was really concerned about the loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary he should address the size of gun magazines.
“I know there’s a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens. I know there’s an anti-2nd Amendment industry in town. I know there are political elites that for 20 years always try to say it’s because Americans own guns,” LaPierre said.
“I’m telling you what I think will make people safe. And what every mom and dad will make them feel better when they drop their kid off at school in January, is if we have a police officer in that school, a good guy, that if some horrible monster tries to do something, they’ll be there to protect them.”
“You’re talking about some of the old complaints you make against news media and such. Nobody’s actually said that it’s only about guns, so far as I’ve heard, not the president, not anyone else,” Gregory retorted, moving into a series of headlines calling the NRA chief “gun nut,” “loon,” et al. “Just your reaction to that very harsh reaction to your words?”
“If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. I’ll tell you what the American people — I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe, and the NRA is going to try to do that,” LaPierre said. “…Gun control — you could — you could ban all — Dianne Feinstein’s — you could do whatever she wants to with magazines, it’s not going to make any kid safer. We got to get to the real problem, the real causes, and that’s what the NRA is trying to do.”
When LaPierre said people tell him they go to bed safer each night because they own a firearm, Gregory said, “Well, a feeling is not fact. A feeling is a sense of reassurance. That’s not evidence. And I know that’s not what you’re presenting.”
After an exchange about Columbine and Virginia Tech, LaPierre said, “I don’t understand why you can’t just for a minute imagine that when that horrible monster tried to shoot his way into Sandy Hook school, that if a good guy with a gun had been there, he might have been able to stop him.”
“I’m just trying to test your views here, Mr. LaPierre, about how it would actually work,” the host responded.
“…Here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now, isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets, isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?” Gregory continued.
“I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that. You had that for 10 years when Dianne Feinstein passed that ban in ’94. It was on the books. Columbine occurred right in the middle of it. It didn’t make any difference,” LaPierre said. “…There are so many different ways [Adam Lanza] could done it and — there’s endless amount of ways a monster can do it.”
“We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics.”
The NRA leader remained firm against calls in Washington to close gun-show loopholes.
“What the anti-2nd Amendment movement wants to do is put every gun sale in the country under the thumb of the federal government. Congress debated this at length,” LaPierre said. “They said if you’re a hobbyist or collector, someone in West Virginia, a hunter, wants to sell the gun to another hunter, they ought to be able to do it without being under the thumb of the federal government.”
“And you know the biggest hole? I’ll tell you the biggest single hole in it right now,” he added. “If you’re a felon and you walk into a gun store and you try to buy a gun and they go, oh, you’re a felon and we’re going to turn you down, they let you walk out and they don’t prosecute you.”