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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, the Virginia-based National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, Conn., 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 Barack Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat with an 'A' rating from the NRA, called the massacre a "game changer" and begun advocating for stricter gun laws. And Thursday, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., introduced five gun reform safety measures that he said had significant support among NRA members.

At the grassroots level, 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.

In stark contrast, LaPierre called for a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who could 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.

In his speech, LaPierre also accused the media of selling "violence against its own people" through violent video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. He did not take questions from reporters and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Soon afterward, Moran issued a statement calling the press conference "appalling," and saying, "Even more firearms are not the solution to reducing gun violence."

"Preventing gun-related massacres, like what occurred at Virginia Tech and in Newtown, Connecticut, requires a comprehensive approach that includes tackling mental health issues, looking at ways to better secure our schools, and changing our culture of violence," Moran said in the statement.

"But perhaps more importantly, it means tackling the gun epidemic in this country with sensible gun safety reforms. The NRA attempted to completely shirk their responsibility to that key piece of this puzzle. It was galling, and an overreach, and it may well backfire on them as the public reviews Mr. LaPierre’s statements.”

More on the NRA and guns in schools in Virginia

Marshall: Some School Staff Should Carry Guns

Sen. Warner: Newtown a 'Game Changer' on Guns

Arlington Patch Editor Jason Spencer contributed to this report.

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Cheryl Darby December 21, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Why not just get rid of police departments and turn over security to the NRA? After all, they're advocating gun ownership by everyone as a solution to gun violence. It's ludicrous. The day the we all carry weapons to protect ourselves from each other will be the day this country finds itself back in the Wild West. Is that how we want to live?
Marty December 21, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Although the NRA has the right idea, their message is too upfront and logical. The message headline will be spun by gun control advocates into something like "The NRA is still a bunch of radical gun toting radicals that think that carrying weapons will solve everything" We all know that is not the case, but watch what the mainstream media does to the message. The truth of the matter is this, If armed security or armed Teachers or Staff were present at Sandy Hook the amount of people killed would have been significantly less. Gun regulation is not the root of the problem, guns ending up in the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals is the issue and nobody wants to admit that we have a mental healthcare crisis in this country since we decided to abolished our state run institutions. Until that happens I am proud to say that Virginia still allows concealed carry permits to responsible citizens and I prey that our right to defend ourselves is never taken away.
Stan Huie December 21, 2012 at 06:54 PM
While I would put more stock in the school safety study that Governor McDonnell has commissioned, but this makes a lot more sense then the gun control which the administration is trying to put in place. All gun control will do is disarm law abiding citizens and create more soft targets for the crazies and crooks.
Linda Woolfrey December 21, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I think teachers should be allowed to arm themselves legally.
Would these armed guards be part of a (gasp) government program? And more importantly, is the US willing to take another step closer to being a military state? I think that LaPierre is just providing lip service since all eyes and ears are on the NRA. There is no way that this will ever happen in the US.
Linda Woolfrey December 21, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I believe teachers should be allowed to bring guns to school if they have a legal permit to carry and have one.
1Ronald December 21, 2012 at 08:54 PM
These events appear to have created copycat crimes. Nothing said about how this "caring" kindergarten teacher could have created this psychopath (sociopath) who has/had no feeling for others and only wanted to go out with having his "15 minutes" of fame. The message is "spend time with your kids." Interact with them and let them know they are loved and wanted. Every child a wanted child as we hear repeatedly from Planned Parenthood advocates. On the solution, Allen Dershowitz was upfront in comparing our existing climate with that of Israel and the terrorism they face. However, his solution was not NRA friendly and represented one view of how something needs to be done.
Stan Huie December 22, 2012 at 03:45 AM
We need to keep this in perspective. Since Cain took a rock and killed his brother, people have murdered out of jealously, anger, greed and vengeance. The first school shootings in America happened in 1764 where 10 children and a teacher were murdered near Greencastle, PA. The most deadly school killings happened in 1927 when 38 children and six adults were killed with 58 more injured in Bath Township, MI. Since that 1927 school mass murder, there have been 125 school shootings in America. And we hear almost nothing of the 446 children killed this year in Chicago, a city with the strongest gun laws in the nation. Chicago looses more children than soldiers in Iraq to gun violence. Cowards will continue to strike soft and unprepared targets. The fact remains that the sure way to increase murder rates and violence is to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. Firearms sales in Virginia has increased 73% since 2006 and crimes involving handguns has decreased by more than 27% in that same period. I supported an assault weapons ban until I saw Korean store owners on their roves during the LA riots when social structures broke down law enforcement was unavailable. The fact remains, the second amendment isn't about hunting or sport shooting. It's about a citizenry that can protect itself.
Stan Huie December 22, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Your ad absurdum argument isn't valid and it's not being advocated by anyone. If you had signs on each house that had a weapon and each house that had none, which homes do you think would become the target for break-in. I feel safer in my church knowing that there are off-duty and retired law enforcement who are carrying. The occasional concealed federal marshal on aircraft are a deterrent for hijackers on all aircraft. The fact that there is likely to be a licensed citizen with a weapon in a theater, school or shopping center makes that place safer.
Don Joy January 22, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Very well-said, Stan.
Don Joy January 22, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Cheryl, there never was any so-called "Wild West;" it's been a myth perpetuatred by Hollywoood.
Don Joy January 22, 2013 at 09:47 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0717hill0717.html?nclick_check=1

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