PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre waves off questions from the media as he walks by a video screen illustrating the NRA's proposed National School Shield, December 21, 2012, in Washington, DC, on the one week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. The United States' most powerful pro-gun lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, called Friday for armed police or security guards to be deployed to every school in the country.
One week ago today, the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut sparked an outcry to renew the national conversation on gun control which has reached all the way up to the nation’s highest office. The National Rifle Association responded by holding a press conference this morning, aired live on news outlets nationwide.
In his speech, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre invoked the Sandy Hook tragedy, saying that we as a nation have fallen short in protecting “the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family - our children.” He laid blame on everything from video games to Hollywood movies to the news media for glorifying violence and bestowing fame on killers. And he called on Congress to immediately put armed police officers in every school. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” said LaPierre, “is a good guy with a gun.” He also announced a new NRA-funded program that would enlist retired police, military reservists, firefighters and rescue personnel among its membership, train and deploy them to school campuses.
LaPierre was interrupted twice by protesters who held up anti-NRA signs in front of the camera while shouting that “the NRA is killing our children.” The NRA’s proposed solution to school shootings is in direct opposition to those who want less, not more, guns available in our society.
How has the Sandy Hook tragedy changed your thoughts on gun control? Do you think armed, trained officers belong on school campuses? Is there any way to legislate against tragedies like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine?
Adam Winkler, Constitutional law professor at UCLA; author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011); writer for The Huffington Post & Daily Beast
Sam Paredes, executive director, Gun Owners of California
Carol Kocivar, President, California State Parent Teacher Association
Warren Fletcher, President, United Teachers of Los Angeles
Christopher Ferguson, Associate Professor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Texas A&M International
Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University
Read LaPierre's comments below and scroll down to take our poll: