WASHINGTON — In his first extensive public remarks since last week’s mass shooting at a Connecticut school, the head of the National Rifle Association called Friday for lawmakers to take action to put armed security guards in all schools in an effort to curb such violence.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called on Congress “to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation." In his remarks, LaPierre suggested that guards could be drawn from a pool of qualified private citizens who would work with law enforcement officials. He offered NRA help — “free of charge" — in setting up such a program and training the guards.
Offering no new gun restriction proposals, LaPierre lashed out against violent video games and films, as well the media’s coverage of gun owners. His answer to addressing gun violence in schools was the creation of a model emergency response program in which schools can choose to participate.
After LaPierre wrapped up his remarks, his proposal to put armed guards in schools was met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
Even as he was speaking, LaPierre faced pushback. He was interrupted twice during his remarks by anti-gun protesters. One held up a sign that read: “NRA Killing Our Kids." After pausing briefly, he continued to speak after the protesters were removed.
"Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones," LaPierre said. “They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk." The NRA chief took no questions after his speech.