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NRA press conference: Put armed guards in schools (+video)

At a rare NRA press conference, the group's leaders implored the nation to protect schoolchildren with armed guards. The NRA also blamed media for misreporting on guns and promoting violence.

By Staff writer / December 21, 2012

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, speaks during an NRA news conference in Washington Friday, the one week anniversary Newtown, Connecticut school massacre. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

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Washington

In a rare appearance before national media, leaders of the National Rifle Association called on Americans to protect their children by putting armed guards in every school in the country.

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The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, spoke one week after a gunman burst into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and killed 20 first-graders and six staff members. He did not take questions but asserted that legislation restricting access to firearms would not solve the problem of gun violence in the United States. Mr. LaPierre offered the NRA’s assistance in putting together safety programs in schools that include arming security personnel.

“Think about it,” said LaPierre, the public face of the 4.3-million member NRA, speaking at Washington’s Willard Hotel. “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.”

He continued: “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.”

Protesters interrupted the NRA press appearance twice, hoisting banners and shouting slogans such as “NRA, stop killing our children,” and “We need gun control now.” Security personnel removed the protesters from the room.

LaPierre also went after the news media, accusing them of misreporting facts about firearms and being a part of corporate conglomerates that profit from producing violent films and video games.

“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,” he said. “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.”

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