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NRA’s LaPierre doesn’t back down from ‘crazy’ guns-in-schools proposal

On Sunday, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre repeated his claim that 'the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.' Opponents of armed guards in schools pushed back, but passing stricter gun control laws is an uphill fight.

By Staff writer / December 23, 2012

New Haven police officer Maneet Colon catalogues a Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle turned in during a gun buyback event at the New Haven Police Academy in New Haven, Conn., Saturday. The Bushmaster is similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Michelle McLoughlin/REUTERS

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The National Rifle Association generated a firestorm of criticism and ridicule when its chief lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, declared that the answer to mass school shootings was more guns in schools.

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But if Mr. LaPierre had any intention of softening his rhetoric regarding the recent Sandy Hook grade school shooting in Connecticut – particularly in light of normally pro-gun pundits and elected officials distancing themselves from his adamant stance – that was not apparent Sunday when he sat down for an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,” LaPierre told NBC’s David Gregory. “I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe, and the NRA is going try to do that.”

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The NRA’s chief spokesman also dismissed any congressional effort to restrict the sale of assault-style rifles, limit the size of ammunition clips, or require background checks for those who purchase firearms at private gun sales – legislation Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she intends to introduce this coming year.

Curbing private gun sales, he said, would put “every gun sale under the thumb of the federal government.”

The NRA has tasked former congressman and former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson with developing its proposal to put more armed guards in schools – an idea opposed by many parents in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza, armed with an assault-style rifle with large magazines, handguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, killed 20 first-graders and six women who worked at the school before taking his own life.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Hutchinson likened armed school guards to plain-clothes air marshals on passenger airliners, or to such guards in uniform at some shopping malls or movie theaters.

“People resisted having weapons on airplanes, but I oversaw the federal air marshals,” Hutchinson said. “It's a deterrent. No one sees that weapon, but they are protected on that airplane, and it's a huge positive impact on safety."

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