“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
-Wayne LaPierre, NRA Chief Executive Officer
In a press conference reflecting on last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre today called on Congress to put armed law enforcement agents in every American school, insisting that guns in schools — not tougher gun laws — would most effectively protect children from school shootings.
CBS News reports LaPierre, who did not take any questions and whose remarks were interrupted twice by pro-gun control protesters, disdained the notion that stricter gun laws could have prevented “monsters” like Adam Lanza from committing mass shootings, and wondered why students, unlike banks, don’t have the protection of armed officials. He also called for a “national database of the mentally ill.”
Alternately criticizing politicians, the media, and the entertainment industry, LaPierre argued that “the press and political class here in Washington [are] so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America’s gun owners” that they overlook what he claims is the real solution to the nation’s recent surge in mass shootings — and what, he said, could have saved lives last week.
LaPierre called on Congress to put a police officer in every school in America, which according to a Slate analysis would cost the nation at least $5.4 billion. LaPierre recognized that local budgets are “strained,” but urged lawmakers “to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school.” He offered up the NRA’s unique “knowledge, dedication, and resources” to assist in efforts to train those forces, but made no mention of a fiscal contribution.
Gun control advocates immediately decried LaPierre’s comments, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the press conference a “shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country.”