The NRA held a press conference on Friday to address the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. that claimed the lives of 20 students and 6 teachers.
At a press event in Washington on Friday, LaPierre said U.S. society has left children “utterly defenseless” and argued that it’s possible 26 lives might have been saved if there had been armed guards at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.
He also discussed the impact of video games and the media on today’s culture.
LaPierre said “for all the noise and anger directed at us … nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now … in a way that we know works.”
Given federal spending in areas such as foreign affairs, “Can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?”
He urged Congress to appropriate money now to put armed guards in every school and advocated school protection programs. The NRA, he said, will be planning a “multi-faceted” safety program for America’s schools.
A protester interrupted the NRA appearance before reporters with a banner accusing the NRA of killing children. The protester was led out of the room as he shouted anti-NRA slogans.
LaPierre added that violent crime is increasing in the U.S. due to a lack of willing to prosecute such acts and condemned violent video games as a factor in the increase of crime.
He placed blame on media conglomerates, saying their products deliver “a toxic mix” of criminality “into our homes” around the clock. But corporate owners and stockholders act as “silent enablers.” He said the media has “demonized gun owners.”
He said media outlets report “untrue” claims about firearms. “They don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.
A second protester interrupted a statement by LaPierre on Friday with a banner accusing the NRA of bloodshed. “The NRA has blood on its hands,” the woman shouted as she was led out the room.
After the shooting, a debate over gun control has surged from the public and in Washington. The NRA, an important voice that has been missing thus far, will join the conversation.
Earlier this week, the group released its only statement on the shooting, saying in part that “the NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
One week ago, a gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot 20 students, six adults then himself dead in Newtown.
Adam Lanza had killed his mother before arriving at the school.