The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby on Friday called for armed officers to be placed in every American school, saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”
Breaking its silence a week after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children dead, the National Rifle Association blamed the media, a culture of violence and the lack of armed school security guards, among other factors, for such mass killings.
But leaders for the nearly 4 million NRA members said more guns — not fewer — was the way to address a spate of high-profile shootings in recent years.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the lack of armed guards protecting children tells “every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame?” he added.
Twice gun-control advocates interrupted the NRA press conference, located just blocks from the White House. One shouted that the “NRA is killing our children” and the other accused the organization of having “blood on its hands.”
President Obama this week appointed a task force to examine how to prevent such violence in the future. He also called on Congress to renew an assault weapons ban. to restrict the availability of high-capacity ammunition clips and to expand the use of criminal background checks to those who buy weapons at private gun shows.
The NRA called its opening gambit part of an ongoing national conversation but then refused to take questions from reporters.
The group said stricter gun-control laws would just exacerbate violence, not halt the deadly carnage that has been dominating the nation's headlines.
“With all the foreign aid the United States does, can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?” LaPierre asked. “Why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect the president… but bad when it’s used to protect the children in our schools?”