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What's Your Opinion on the NRA's Call 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 an amazing Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT 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 Obama released a video citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

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.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Meanwhile, a number of Hollywood entertainers joined the Demand A Plan campaign, which seeks national gun control legislation.

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, Conn., said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might 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.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

What do you think we as a country should do?

Earl Williamson, RN December 24, 2012 at 03:44 AM
The common denominator turning an ever wider range of our society into armed camps (and now proposing to expand that into our schools) is the NRA and it's increasingly absurb efforts to put guns into ANYONE's hands including the mentally ill, unvetted and untrained "good guys" (whose only qualification appears to be breathing and upright), and even those with felony convictions. Isn't it time we look at who profits the most from unfettered gun ownership and proliferation .... gun and ammunition manufacturers and the NRA ... and ask who is REALLY being served here? Because the NRA is clearly NOT acting on our behalfs nor our safety, but the ongoing income they indirectly realize by promoting expanded and completely unrestricted gun sales disguised as constitutional rights.
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Why do people bother to call 911 during school shootings? Why do the terrified people find a police presence so valuable? Why do they desperately pray for the police to arrive as quickly possible? They call for the police because they know the cops are armed with -weapons- capable of ending the threat. That's what the terrified people in those situations are praying for. They want the police to arrive as quickly as possible to terminate the threat. The two officers in Columbine did not engage until it was too late, and neither were in the school building when the shooting began. One was writing a traffic ticked on a motorcycle just down the road from the school, and the other was in his car outside in the parking lot. By the time they shot at the suspects, many of the victims were already dead. I think armed officers inside the Columbine school building, not issuing tickets or cruising the parking lot, could have made a difference in the outcome of that day.
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 08:25 AM
The NRA has proposed putting armed police officers in every school. How is that arming mentally ill, unvetted, untrained "good guys" unless you believe cops are mentally ill, unvetted and untrained. NPR NEWS: "National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school."
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 08:33 AM
"shall not be infringed" was not incorporated into the 1st Amendment.
Péralte Paul (Editor) December 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
@ Sophist: but the first part of that says, " A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." It seems that there's room for interpreting the spirit of the law without violating the letter of the law, no?
Paul M. December 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM
2nd amendment was designed to protect the states and people from the federal government wasn't it. Unless you own an aircraft carrier you are just kidding yourself in that respect. Stocking up on small arms has no value other than to line the pockets of the gun industry. Thank God the tobacco industry didn't have an amendment they could contort and hide behind.
Earl Williamson, RN December 24, 2012 at 02:28 PM
The NRA has opposed restrictions on gun ownership for the mentally ill and supported gun ownership for convicted felons. The NRA proposal said nothing about sworn, trained, and vetted police officers in schools. All the NRA said was "armed security" with no requirement for training, vetting, or qualification described. "Armed security" carrying weapons from NRA partner gun manufacturers purchased with public funds to ensure more fear based lining of NRA and gun maker wallets. Isn't time we explore THAT relationship along with the spurious claim that the NRA and gun manufacturers are only looking out for our safety and constitutional rights?
Gray Stewart December 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Instead of putting firearms in every school, why not put a teacher in every gun shop?
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
It says the Militia should be regulated. It would say, "Well regulated arms, being necessary to the security of a free state" if they meant the arms should be regulated.
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Washington Post: (LaPierre also called on Congress to act immediately “to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school in this nation.”) NPR News: (National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school.) NBC News: (NRA VP Wayne LaPierre: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said at a Washington press event, adding, “With all the money in the federal budget can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?”) I don't see how LaPierre saying "police officers" only means armed security. Here's a recorded video of LaPierre at the AP press conference calling for "police officers" in every school. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/50274819#50274819 I don't think you have much to worry about unless you think the term "police officers" actually means mentally ill, unvetted and untrained people.
Earl Williamson, RN December 24, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Yes, I have plenty to worry about. Starting with NRA proposals to turn public schools into armed camps paid for with public monies, ensuring an expanding market for gun and ammunition manufacturers and cash flow to the NRA . Continuing with NRA efforts to put guns in anyone's hands as long as they are upright and breathing using a bastardized interpretation of the Constitution as rationalization. Follow the money ... the NRA's proposal has nothing to do with the safety of our children. It has everything to do with creating yet another market for gun and ammunition sales, in this instance publicly funded. Everything the NRA has done since the late 1960's has been clearly oriented towards expanding and sustaining a domestic weapons industry and market, enriching not only weapon and ammunition manufacturers but the NRA themselves. Their argument that more guns = more public safety has been shown to be the lie it is with the repeated public slaughter of children and young adults in places they should be safe, were it not for the guns.
Sophist December 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Let's say there are two elementary schools you can send your son, daughter or guardian child to. These two schools are identical in every way except one. The first elementary school employs an armed police officer to patrol the school, the second elementary school has chosen not to employ an armed police officer. Which school are you going to send your child to? All things equal, no one is going to send their child to the second school with no police officer, and I don't believe you would either.
Renee Cunningham December 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Conneticutt already had an assult rifle ban, but the shooter's mother had this gun illegally. So the gun control ban worked very well, huh? This is an example of: that people will have guns if they want them, and I assume she was not even a criminal intent on using the guns to rob and kill people. We already know there are black market guns with no serial numbers that will never be found if there is a gun ban. So then only criminals will have the guns. Comforting knowledge!
Earl Williamson, RN December 25, 2012 at 03:11 PM
My children and grandchildren would not be going to any school where an NRA inspired atmosphere of fear and armed patrols are installed to replace the childhood joy and learning essential to education. Now you answer a couple. Why are we the only country in the world having a conversation about weapons in our schools? Why are we the only country experiencing this problem? It obviously stems from the insane number of weapons in America. And the only suggestion the NRA has is to increase their numbers and to promote their presence in schools, part of their continued efforts to create, expand, and protect markets for gun and ammunition manufacturers (thereby ensuring continued cash flow to the NRA) Again, follow the money. For example in 2007 3,717,831 guns were manufactured in the U.S. In 2011 that number increased to 6,107,512 guns made in America. During the same period the NRA promoted efforts to allow convicted felons to own guns, opposed efforts to restrict gun ownership by the unstable mentally ill, opposed efforts to control gun smuggling across state and international lines, and opposed (in partnership with gun manufacturers) the microstamping of weapons to allow more effective tracking by law enforcement of smuggled and criminally used weapons.
Earl Williamson, RN December 25, 2012 at 03:13 PM
The NRA has no interest in our public safety ... in fact, less public safety works in their favor. They are clearly focused on expanding and sustaining the domestic weapons industry and it's markets, enriching not only weapon and ammunition manufacturers but the NRA themselves. More guns and broader gun ownership do NOT improve our public safety. The evidence lies in the fact that of all the industrialized countries we are the ONLY one having this problem and this conversation
Dana Blankenhorn December 25, 2012 at 08:59 PM
City of Atlanta schools had armed cops in them while my kids went there. They were not kept safe. The NRA idiots now advocating that we hire armed guards must know that money would come out of teachers' pay. This is all a distraction. The NRA doesn't want to discuss the reality, which is that despite all our armaments we're less safe, not more safe. When someone has the drop on you, you're dead and that's that. We can be safer. We can disarm. We can pass meaningful gun control legislation, start treating guns like cars (which also kill) or prescription drugs (which also kill). The gun fetishism now coursing through the right has become like crack addiction. There's a reason why mass murders are occurring in wealthy areas filled with NRA members. Guns are crack, crack is whack, and until you put down your weapon you can't hope to be safe.
FamilyOfFour December 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM
OK, I am 100% anti-gun, anti war, loath the NRA, super liberal, BUT bringing our troops home, giving them great jobs here in the US, closer to their families, being a full time force at schools, hospitals, etc. Heck, I would like to see them on every corner! Better here than over seas!!!
FamilyOfFour December 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Also I would like to inform everyone, that for over a decade, Senator's and Representatives in DC have full time police officers at all of the daycare centers they send their own kids. With gates, parking passes, video camera, etc. And YES when the kids go out to play, the police patrol the playground and dont let people stop to look in. They have full fences and thick trees blocking the view. Having MORE police may not work, but I am 100% sure it wont make it worse and creating jobs as well. "States dont have the money" The federal government has plenty of money, they just choose to spend it on making our military larger to protect people in other countries.
Earl Williamson, RN December 26, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Interesting spin from someone claiming to be anti gun, anti war, anti NRA ... but who has swallowed the whole NRA scam that more guns = more safety and tries to pitch it as jobs program. Not terribly believable. Some numbers: - Americans have the highest civilian gun ownership rate in the world with about 270 million guns, compared to about 3 million held by the military and less than 1 million by police. - 70-80 million Americans own guns. Of these 20% own more than one gun. According to NRA logic we should be eminently safe, yet we are not. Statistically we would be far safer in any western nation that regulates guns than we are here. The difference? The NRA and it's collegial relationship with gun and ammunition manufacturers in which the NRA acts on behalf of manufacturers to create, expand, and preserve domestic gun markets regardless of the cost to our public safety, including the safety of our law enforcement (and now Fire and EMS) providers. Their newest market? Our children's public schools.
Sophist December 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Guns do not equal violence and murder. Culture has much more to do with it. The Swiss have roughly as many guns per capita as we do. The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols. Between the ages of 21 and 32 men are given a fully automatic SIG 550 assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition which they are required to keep at home. The Swiss homicide rate (1.32 per 100K) is lower than that of the UK (1.41 per 100K) where guns are severely restricted. The availability and presence of guns does not equal death, danger and destruction. The actions of a country's citizenry plays a much larger role in that.
Matthew Folden December 28, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Matthew F. MN. Ok. For the folks who think this is about the NRA making the gun manufactures rich, (or whatever) heres a solution, (perhaps a solution overall!). The NRA has valid points. And so do a few of you here. How about this. We take tactical trained soldiers of the US services. We make part of there service a six month stint in an assigned school with their weapon they were issued along with the bullets that were issued to them. After six months, they are rotated back to military duties. NO NEW GUN Purchased,, NO NEW TRAINING, NO NEW TAX PAYING PROGRAMS.Just a shift of Duty for those that have already been vetted & trained to handle high risk situations and humanitarian situations. The NRA doesnt prosper in any way. Hmm, think I'll Call my State representatives, and my NRA rep. See if they can improve on this idea. The NRA isnt Perfect, The NRA is us; regular people with regular lives, with regular children, with regular struggles, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Guns are something we own and know how to use with the hope of NEVER having to aim, let alone use toward another human being. There are no bad guns, just bad or ill people.
Earl Williamson, RN December 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM
And you think armed uniformed soldiers are going to improve children's (combat) educational environment? BTW it would be illegal as the military are prohibited from domestic policing ... part of the constitutional and legal mechanisms in place to prevent a military state. You obviously have never been active duty. You're not allowed to retain a service weapon OR ammunition except in training or a combat zone. And basic and advanced training has nearly zero utility in a civilian setting. And your model ignores problems such as housing, food and medical, and most importantly the absence of a command structure without which I really don't think we want an armed combat troop in a public school.
Earl Williamson, RN December 28, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Besides the obvious cultural differences between Switzerland and America let's look at some other differences: 29% of Swiss households have weapons, in America more than 43% do. (More NRA effectiveness in protecting a domestic weapons market) Sales from a dealer or between individuals require a weapon acquisition permit. (opposed by the NRA ) All ammunition sales are registered at the point of sale. (opposed by the NRA) Switzerland signed the Schengen treaty. (similar treaties opposed by the NRA) You are incorrect on one point: The Swiss militia holding military weapons have not been allowed to hold ammunition for them since 2007, due to concerns re. the immediate availability of ammunition to military assault weapons. (quite a difference from the NRA opposition to restricted clip capacities) Swiss carry permits require testing, demonstration of need, are rstricted to a specific weapon.. (all opposed by the NRA)
Sophist December 30, 2012 at 07:13 AM
You just argued in support of my point. It's not the guns; it's the culture. The homicide rate statistics I quoted between the UK and Switzerland are from 1997 - 2000 -- seven years before the 2007 ammo restrictions. The Swiss homicide rate was still lower than that of the UK despite ammunition for fully automatic assault rifles being freely available.
Sophist December 30, 2012 at 07:16 AM
It should also be noted that I'm not an NRA member.
Earl Williamson, RN December 31, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Walks like a duck, talks like a duck. If not an NRA member than what are YOU going to do in response to the NRA sponsorship of the ongoing slaughter in our country?It's not the cultural differences and it's not our culture that invalidates your Swiss example. It's the NRA's choice (beginning in the middle 1960's) to move away from representing responsible gun owners, law enforcement, hunters, and other traditional gun owning segments of America to pursue a policy of representing the economic interests of gun and ammunition manufacturers to the detriment of us all, gun owners and non gun owners alike. The NRA's continued and aggressive promotion of expanded domestic gun markets and preservation of existing markets that allow virtually anyone to hold unlimited numbers of weapons regardless of the cost to our public safety is where the difference (and responsibility for the problem) lies. They are right in one regard ... it's guns and ammunition that kill people, it's people that kill. So why your insistence that we continue to provide them with as many weapons as possible based only on a bastardized interpretation of the Constitution that to you and the NRA means only that one be upright and breathing to own weapons?
Earl Williamson, RN December 31, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Why the insistence that this includes "rights" to own military assault weapons, high capacity magazines, military grade ammunition (including armor piercing and ballistic vest defeating types), and to carry them in a wide range of places NEVER BEFORE accepted in the United States as appropriate ... including churches, schools, colleges, and health care settings. Ban military type assault weapons. They're NOT hunting rifles. Their rate of fire is far higher than bolt action hunting weapons and they even cycle faster than other semi automatic weapons. They are chambered for military type ammunition, NOT hunting rounds. They are exactly what they were designed to be, weapons to kill people with a high rate of fire, long range, and high velocity rounds designed for single shot kills and failing that, maiming incapacitation. Stop the sale of armor-piercing bullets that can penetrate the vests of law enforcement officers and other ballistic armor. NRA support for the sale of such ammunition is unconscionable and benefits only the manufacturers and sellers of such ammunition and demonstrates once again that the NRA could give a shit about our safety and the safety of those who protect us. Outlaw sale of high-capacity magazines that let shooters discharge 30 rounds or more in a matter of seconds. Spare me the hunting argument ... if you need that many shots hunting you're not a real hunter anyway. There is NO rational reason for such magazines outside of a military setting.
Earl Williamson, RN December 31, 2012 at 03:22 PM
It is no coincidence that the trend of increasing casualties and lethality with mass shotings parallels civilian access to military high capacity magazines, military assault weapons, and military ammunition.
Sophist January 01, 2013 at 07:58 AM
Civilians have had the rights to military weapons throughout almost the entire history of the 2nd Amendment. Every firearm to see service in every American war dating back to 1776 has been available to the citizenry for legal purchase. Only until 1986 did the national machine gun act put an end to the tradition by making newly manufactured machine guns illegal to purchase by ordinary citizens. Your blame of assault weapons as the cause of increased shootings and lethality does not jive with the FBI's own crime reports. More people are killed by blunt objects than are killed by rifles and assault rifles combined. More people are killed by hands and feet than are killed by rifles and assault rifles combined. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8 FBI Murder Victims by Weapon, 2011 Handguns 6,220 Rifles 323 Shotguns 356 Other guns 97 Firearms, type not stated 1,587 Knives or cutting instruments 1,694 Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 496 Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) 728 Poison 5 Explosives 12 Fire 75 Narcotics 29 Drowning 15 Strangulation 85 Asphyxiation 89 Other weapons or weapons not stated 853 Total 12,664 killed Total 8,583 by firearms The US population = 314 million people
Sophist January 01, 2013 at 08:21 AM
I don't understand this whole hunting argument. The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting. It was written to protect the citizenry from tyrannical government not protect the right to hunt. There is no right to hunt; it simply does not exist. This is not meant as an ad hominem attack, but I believe you are a little ignorant about ammunition and body armor. Virtually any rifle can defeat body armor -- wooden stock, single shot, bolt-action deer rifles included. Most police body armor is limited to stopping handgun bullets only. In other words, Grandpa's old deer rifle using ordinary bullets is an armor-piercing weapon. There is body armor capable of stopping rifles bullets but it is so costly, bulky and cumbersome, very few law enforcement agencies opt to use it.

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