One week to the day after a madman killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the National Rifle Association spoke out on the tragedy. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre spoke in Washington, D.C., this morning. He noted that unlike the media, the NRA waited until more facts were known about the gunman and the circumstances of his crimes before speaking out.
“Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation’s children,” LaPierre said. “Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works? The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
LaPierre offered a solution: We should protect our children as we protect our banks and our political officials. “The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away?”
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children,” LaPierre continued. “But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year’s budget, and scrapped “Secure Our Schools” policing grants in next year’s budget.
“With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget, we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.”
LaPierre said that retired police and retired, reserve and active duty military, security professionals and others could quickly fill these roles, and qualified civilians could be trained to join them.
LaPierre also heaped blame on the media for saturation coverage of mass killers, and blamed Hollywood’s and the video game industry, saying the latter is a “shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”
“Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?” he asked of the media in attendance.
Criticizing violence in movies like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers, LaPierre said “A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.”