WASHINGTON--The National Rifle Association, breaking its silence Friday in the wake of the Sandy Hook gun massacre in Newtown, Ct., called for armed guards in every school--and less video game violence--and no other proposals dealing with gun control.
In a press conference lasting about 30 minutes--disrupted twice by anti-NRA demonstrators--NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said the creation by "politicians" of "gun-free school zones" only sends the message to "every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk."
LaPierre said the NRA would assist in training for these school guards and asked Congress to help in funding these positions.
These proposals are probably not what the Obama White House has in mind when it comes to the task force President Barack Obama created--led by Vice President Biden--to come up with proposals in a few weeks to curb gun violence.
Democrats in Congress would not go along with funding an armed-guard at schools only program if it were not coupled with other measures to curb gun violence: more safety checks, closing gun show loopholes, limited the number of bullets in clips.
More from LaPierrre:
"How have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.
"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. 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. That must change now."
"...The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them.
"They walk among us every single day.
"And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment? How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark? A dozen more killers? A hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?
"The fact is this. That wouldn't even begin to address the much larger, more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who spread like cancer in every community across our nation. Meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40 percent to the lowest levels in a decade.
"So now, due to declined willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years.
Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man- made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.
"And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows 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" (sic/Killer). It's been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it and all of yours couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?
Add another hurricane, add another natural disaster, I mean, we have blood-soaked films out there like "American Psycho," "Natural Born Killers." They're aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every single day. A thousand music videos -- and you all know this -- portray life as a joke, and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life. And then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment.
"But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour of every single year.
"A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. And throughout it all, too many in the national media, their corporate owners and their stockholders act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonized gun owners.
"...Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and build a national -- (audio break) -- the media calls semiautomatic firearms "machine guns."
"They claim these civilian semiautomatic firearms are used by the military, they tell us that the 223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers, when all of these claims are factually untrue. They don't know what they're talking about. Worse, they perpertuate -- perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceful -- peaceable, lawful people will protect us, where 20,000 other laws have failed.
"As brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt and professional and well- trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, unable to stop it.
"As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It's now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools.
"The only way -- they 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 from a minute away?
"Now I can imagine the headlines -- the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow.
"More guns, you'll claim, are the NRA's answer to everything. Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools.
"But since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting our president isn't a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States of America isn't a bad word. And when you hear your glass breaking at 3 a.m. and you call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.
"So why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect the president of our country or our police but bad when it's used to protect our children in our schools? They're our kids. They're our responsibility. And it's not just our duty to protect them; it's our right to protect them.
"You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if, what if when Adam Lanza started shooting his way in the Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he'd been confronted by qualified armed security? Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 little kids -- that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day?
"Is it so important to you that you'd rather continue to risk the alternative? Is the press and the political class here in Washington, D.C. so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and American gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life -- her life -- to shield those children in her care? No one -- no one -- regardless of personal political prejudice, has the right to impose that sacrifice.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there's no national one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. 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 the United States does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school?
"Even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.
"Now, the National Rifle Association knows there are millions of qualified active and retired police, active reserve and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, an extraordinary (core/corps ?) of patriotic, trained, qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school.
"We can deploy them to protect our kids now. We can immediately make America's schools safer relying on the brave men and women in America's police forces. The budgets -- and you all know this, everyone in the country knows this -- of our local police departments are strained, and the resources are severely limited. But their dedication and courage is second to none, and they can be deployed right now.
"I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation, and to do it now, to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.
"Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work, and by that I mean armed security.
"Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities, and draw upon every resource that's out there and available to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school is going to have a different solution based on its own unique situation. Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place, though, right now.
"And the National Rifle Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years -- we have 11,000 police training instructors in the NRA -- is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help. Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for our nation's defense industries and military installations during World War II. We did it for very young kids with our Eddie Eagle child safety program that is throughout the country in schools right now. And we'll do it again today.
"The NRA is going to bring all its knowledge, all its dedication and all its resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program for every single school in America that wants it.
"From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field," LaPierre said.