Washington: An influential pro-gun American group on Friday sought armed protection of schools and children to avoid any reoccurrence of the deadly school shootout last week that killed 26 people including 20 children.
"The 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," said Wayne LaPierre; the CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association the apex body of pro-gun group in the United States.
Breaking its long-silence after the last week`s shootout incident in a Connecticut school ? one of the deadliest ones in the US history the National Rifle Association (NRA) expressed its shock at the incident, but strongly opposed any move to ban guns for Americans.
"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," LaPierre said.
In a press conference wherein NRA officials refused to take questions, he blamed the media for not bringing out the truth.
"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?" he said.
"Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delays meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away," he said.
The NRA official charged that there has been a move to
"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... 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," LaPierre asserted.
He said thousands of retired law enforcement officials can be roped in for protection of children in schools.
"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," he said.
"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," he said.
The NRA statement immediately drew sharp criticism.
"It is beyond belief that following the Newtown tragedy, the National Rifle Association`s leaders want to fill our communities with guns and arm more Americans," said Senator Frank R Lautenberg expressing his utter disbelief at LaPierre`s comments in response to the Connecticut tragedy.
Lautenberg reiterated his call for a ban on high-capacity magazines, which were used in the attacks in Connecticut, Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson, and Virginia Tech, among others.
"The NRA leadership is wildly out of touch with its own members, responsible gun owners, and the American public who want to close dangerous loopholes and enact common-sense gun safety reform," he said.
"It is clear that their real priority is to help gun manufacturers sell more guns?not to protect our children or Americans` rights. The extreme rhetoric of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA is disturbing and dangerous, and will only exacerbate America’s deadly culture of gun violence," he said.