WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — One week after the mass shootings that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the nation’s largest gun-rights lobby said the solution to preventing further attacks like the one in Newtown is not with gun control.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for armed security to be placed in every school.
WATCH: Full NRA News Conference
“I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate what ever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now,” he said. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
He also blamed the media for allowing violent culture to come into children’s homes.
As LaPierre spoke, he was interrupted twice by protesters who held banners in front of the podium denouncing the organization.
“Stop the killing in our homes, the NRA is killing our children,” one protester yelled as he was being escorted out of the room.
Captain Mark Kelly, husband of Gabrielle Giffords, issued the following statement Friday: “Gabby and I are extremely disappointed by the NRA’s defiant and delayed response to the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The NRA could have chosen to be a voice for the vast majority of its own members who want common sense, reasonable safeguards on deadly firearms, but instead it chose to defend extreme pro-gun positions that aren’t even popular among the law abiding gun owners it represents.
Today, the NRA chose narrow partisan concerns over the safety of our families and communities. The time for this kind of extreme rhetoric is over. We must have a real conversation about preventing gun violence, because when it comes to protecting our children, families, and neighbors, we can’t wait any longer.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s leading gun control advocates, called the NRA’s suggestion “paranoid” and “dystopian.”
“The American public is in the place that reasonable restrictions, which the Supreme Court says are legal within the definition of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, should be implemented,” Bloomberg said Friday.
Bloomberg said 74 percent of NRA members themselves support common sense restrictions such as criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Bloomberg Opposes NRA Plan
In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said posting armed guards in schools won’t make them safer.
“For it to be really effective, in my view, from a law enforcement perspective, you’d have to have an armed guard outside every classroom because if you just have an armed guard at the front door, then what if this guy got around to one of the side doors. There’s many doors in and out of schools,” he said.
Christie said armed guards in every school will not enhance the learning environment and said a good environment is what’s important for kids.
WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: Christie Is Against It
He added that you don’t want to make schools a bunch of armed camps.
Hoboken City Councilman Michael Russo agreed with the NRA’s suggestion and wants to mandate that two police officers are present while school is in session. He wants to apply that to all public and private schools in the city.
How the school would pay for that protection hasn’t been worked out yet, but Russo said he’s not willing to compromise on the basic premise, which is to take action instead of talking.
WCBS 880’s Jim Smith: Hoboken Councilman Calls For Two Officers
“This is something that we can do in the municipality immediately,” he told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.
Russo has a 21-month-old and said the Newtown massacre hit home for him.
“This is something that I think is needed, not just locally, but nationally,” he said.
The proposal has been referred to a City Council committee for discussion.
Since the slayings in Newtown, President Barack Obama has demanded “real action, right now” against U.S. gun violence and called on the NRA to join the effort.
“This should be a wake-up call to all of us,” he said. “If we are not getting right the need to keep our children safe, then nothing else matters.”
On Wednesday, Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead an informal task force on gun violence and set a January deadline for the recommendations.
Obama has already asked Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and pass legislation that would end a provision that allows people to purchase firearms from private parties without a background check. Obama also has indicated that he wants Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity magazines.
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