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NRA calls for armed school security in wake of Newtown shootings

By the Notebook on Dec 21, 2012 02:02 PM
Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre delivers the organization's response to the Connecticut school shooting in Washington today.

This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in Education Week.

by Andrew Ujifusa

The National Rifle Association today called for a national school safety program that would involve training in security procedures and armed security personnel when called for and desired by local school districts, in a press conference in Washington.

NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne R. LaPierre said that such a program of arming the "good guys" would prepare schools to confront those like Adam Lanza, who killed 26 students and school workers and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. Asa Hutchinson, a former Drug Enforcement Agency chief and former congressman, will lead an NRA-funded initiative, which LaPierre said would provide the security program free of charge for any school that desires it.

He also called for Congress to "appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school," and to do it by the time school resumes in January.

LaPierre also decried calls for more gun control in the wake of the Newtown shooting, as well as a national media and "political class" that purveys misinformation about guns and too often wastes time on legislation and gun control regulation that he said was not proven to work. Early in the press conference, he said that if the country agrees it is right to put armed security personnel in banks, sports stadiums and around the president, it should agree to implement the same, "only proven" security for school children. (He also took the opportunity to criticize President Barack Obama for eliminating the "Secure Our Schools" policing grants from the upcoming budget.)

"If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained — armed — good guy," LaPierre said.

He also decried violent video games and films, saying that the average American witnesses 16,000 murders through such media by the time he or she turns 18. At one point, he showed a screen display of a video game called "Kindergarten Killers" (in which the player shoots people inside a school building) in support of his argument. In addition, he said the lack of an national database of the mentally ill made it impossible to know how many more "killers" were planning their next attack and planning to exploit national media attention.

Neither LaPierre, NRA president David Keene, nor Hutchinson took questions at the press conference. Hutchinson said that the NRA's sponsored school security plan would have armed security personnel as one component, but would not be essential for local school boards who did not want them. The plan would also deal with technical issues like building design and access points to help improve security even without armed personnel.

Twice during the press conference, protesters stood in front of cameras and held up banners accusing the NRA of being complicit in the murder of children. They were quickly escorted out by security at the event.

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Comments (16)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 21, 2012 9:34 pm
We do not need guns in schools, we need teachers in gun stores.
Submitted by konzekvensen (not verified) on December 24, 2012 5:41 am
I believe that the freedom, and the fundamental right to self-defense, to hold one weapon is a great achievement in the U.S.. This right should not be restricted, but must even be increased. Obviously, if the teacher had also weaapons in the Newtonian school, would not help, because she would have been first killed by killer. The eventuel policeman too.. Therefore "The Only Thing That stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." thought to be expanded to: "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun are more good guys with guns." In this spirit, the children should be armed to! Of course, this can not be done without legislation, after all, we are not in the Wild West. Therefore, strict gun control is needed, as next: Children under eight years can only receive revolvers. Eight to ten years of age has been associated with single-shot rifles. Ten and twelve year old children can get repeating rifle. In the sense of strict legal, only childrens above twelve years, may hold Kalashnikovs. I'm sure that we can fully counting on Mr. LaPierre, that our children do not suffer the lack of weapons. God bless Mr. Lapierre, savior of American children! konzekvensen from Hungary
Submitted by Ken Derstine on December 24, 2012 10:31 am
I hope this is a spoof. That it is hard to tell says something about the times we live in. This "good guys" mentality is faulty logic. All the "good guys" carrying guns are "good guys" until they use the guns. Most of the mass killers in recent years had no criminal record, including the Connecticut shooter. An invading army could not do a better job at terrorizing the country than the gun lobby is doing tint now. We require a training, a test, and restrictions on those who are a hazard to public safety for the right to drive a car, why not guns? Peace on earth and goodwill to everyone!
Submitted by konzekvensen (not verified) on December 25, 2012 9:00 am
Yes it is. Here in Hungary, we are less able to defend ourselves, but despite this, or perhaps because, our children are safe at school, much more than American children. This is a fact of everyday, from which to see the paradox that less guns mean more security. The statistics also show that, unfortunately, the public safety in the U.S. is between the worst. If we speak about theory about liberty and security, I can say, that the solution is somewhere between these two extremes. One is the complete individual liberty without legal constraints that I call "the jungle", and the others is the total control of state what I call the "zoopark". In the "jungle" the personal freedom is full, however, the individual security hier is the smallest. in the "zoo" the personal freedom is the smallest but safety is the highest, because the cage separates the animals. To be civilized and emerge from the jungle, it means, that some of the our basic law of nature we need to give up, such as not to strike dead our neighbor, if we have a dispute with him. Some controls and selfcontrols make possible that, so many people can live together in the society. (Of course we don't want reach the nivo of the "zoo" in controls and selfcontrols.) Once we have decided, that our dispute in the society we dont want to resolve with violence, we dont need a weapon .. To have a powerfull weapon for self deffence is a false sense of security. The attacker has a powerfull weapon too... It is not the weapon but the unexpectedness is hazardous, when we are attacked. The attacker is not a gentleman to say he want to attack us... Therefore, how stronger the attacking weapon, so it is more the same what kind of weapon we have to protect self. We just do not have time to use it anyway. That is the reason why contol of weapons is important.
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on December 21, 2012 10:13 pm
Question to all teachers out there. Do you think it is a good idea to have armed school police in the hallways as they befriend the students? Who would you be more afraid of?
Submitted by Script (not verified) on December 22, 2012 11:08 am
It doesn't have to be school police with guns. Find 5-10 people in the building that are generally trusted. Train them as part of their professional development. I would feel safer within a shooter-crisis situation knowing that a teacher down the hall from me had a firearm. (I will agree with you that [some] of our school police are young and immature and I would not want to arm them en masse. Persons trusted to carry guns in schools would be those that would not pull them out for idle threats or flaunt them in any way. School would run as normal and the carrier, along with everyone else, would hope that s/he never had occasion to use the gun).
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 22, 2012 12:55 pm
The shooter in Connecticut did not have a criminal record (same for the perpetrators of most mass killings.) This arming the "good guys" to protect us from the "bad guys" is another delusion. Just having easy access to guns turns what in the past would have been an argument and maybe a fight into a murder. The problem is easy access to guns. What a bunch of wooses men in this country have become.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on December 23, 2012 3:38 pm
I agree with you. The NRA makes the mistake "good guys" are in control and are of good judgement/sane all the time. In reality we are all human, and the last one left standing is the quickest draw, not necessarily the "good guy". More likely those who exercise the greatest restraint have the greatest likelihood of being the victim(s) when guns are involved. We wonder if Trevon Martin and Jordan Davis might still be alive had there not been armed "good guys". And what if they had also been armed? Who would have been left alive, the "good guys" or the "bad guys"? The "innocent bystanders" who just happened to walk by?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 21, 2012 11:19 pm
i have my act 235.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 21, 2012 11:52 pm
Submitted by Linda K. (not verified) on December 23, 2012 9:33 pm
I believe we are trained for "what could go wrong" objecs, seating, watching behavior that may lead to an arguement... What about the "trained adult "with the gun [and we know that the kids will eventually find out who is or isn't carrying one].....what about the moment when that gun gets pulled out by accident, taken, grappled with in a struggle? Guns don't kill people...guns handled by people can accidently shoot and kill children/adults who do not have guns..... Would it not be better to improve the buildings? Cameras that work and are monitored.....bullet proof windows and doors?......locks that really work on evey door? Would it not be better to have more counselors, physical activities such as more art, more music....even if it means extending the day by an hour....I would gladly stay for that vs. knowing that some teacher/NTA/non police person is walking around with a loaded weapon in school. Just a thought vs arming adults Linda K., teachng on the first floor with two walls of windows and a fire exit in the room
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 25, 2012 3:12 pm
I totally agree with Linda K. I worked in a school where the principal would not allow the police person to install fresh tapes inot the camera system. He offered to buy them himself and she said no (result no recordings). This is what they do, they do not want their schools on the radar, therefore what we consider common sense measures often go unaddressed . Doors with locks are needed as are working telephones in each room. Is this too much to ask?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 24, 2012 2:38 pm
How about classroom doors that lock from the INSIDE? We have to open the door and put in our key and lock the knob, then close the door. Lots of time wasted plus being in plain view in the hallway. I am sure it would be too costly....but would make many of us feel a little safer.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 26, 2012 1:46 am
Many of the doors can be locked from the outside, but you can't close the door and have it locked. There is a bolt that allows you to lock from the outside, but not close the door and have it locked. Our schools are lacking so much. A bad time to remove school police from the elementaries.
Submitted by Linda K. (not verified) on December 26, 2012 9:57 pm
My school [I am a new transfer] has the doors that lock from the inside, but after only 5 years of existance my door and many others in the building do not lock from the outside or the inside. I emailed, called and wrote the school admin and building engineer....even asked for a requistion to note the issue when I moved to the school this past summer. Finally the evening building engineer came to dump the trash and as he"locked" the door I followed and said "watch this" and opened the door. Days later Newtown happend and guess what? The principal and school security cme to check my door. NOW it will be fixed..........Nothing happens until something BIGGER occurs
Submitted by ion (not verified) on July 22, 2014 10:41 am

Guns in schools....I never thought I would see the day when this happened. This is not making things any better. I believe that this is a huge step backwards and it's a sign of what will follow....even worse things. echipamente profesionale

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