NRA Calls for 'Armed Security' Around Schools

'The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,' the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said.

In a Friday morning press conference, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT, and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "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."

Prince George's County police and the Montgomery County Police Department increased police presence in schools in the wake of the shootings, though police have no indication of a threat to any schools.

Earlier this year, Montgomery County officials, police and parents called for the fiscal 2013 operating budget to allow the county to increase police staffing in public schools.

In 2010, the county began to face budget pressure and the $2.6 million program was cut to nine officers. In 2011, it was cut again to six officers, leaving one per police district, and renamed the School Resource Officer program.

In Prince George's County Public Schools, each high school has two resident investigator/counselors, one school resource officer, and two or more security assistants. Regional investigators are assigned to middle and elementary schools, special centers and administrative offices by educational zone. At least one security assistant is assigned to each middle school.

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around what he said was a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising.

On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action for gun control.

At the grassroots level, groups like Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

In stark contrast, LaPierre called for a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who could be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys.'"

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.

In his speech, LaPierre also accused the media of selling "violence against its own people" through violent video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. He did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

jag December 21, 2012 at 07:40 PM
"LaPierre announced that former Rep. Asa Hutchison, R-Ark., will lead an NRA program that will develop a model security plan for schools that relies on armed volunteers." The NRA totally gets it - obviously, we should be mimicking Iraq and Somalia and have armed militias patrol schools. It makes it a way safe and stable environment, especially compared to that dumb European model. Those Euros are so dumb - don't they know more guns means they'd be safer?! It's so obvious and logical and based on fact and reason....or none of those things, but whatever. I'm sure completely uneducated people will think it's a great idea.
Corbin Dallas Multipass December 21, 2012 at 08:07 PM
i think educated people that are not very moral will also think it is a great idea
Piotr Gajewski December 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Right – this is so thoughtful: and if a fight breaks out in a school hallway, or some crazy student bumps the “armed volunteer,” he can draw his weapon, and if the student does not back off, the “armed volunteer” can, you know… …stand his ground and fire off a couple of rounds. Of course, if the teachers were also armed, they could intervene right then and stop this misguided “armed volunteer” by firing off a few more rounds in the school hallway. And when the police arrived, well, they would need to figure out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys and may need to fire off a few rounds themselves to sort it all out. Yes, indeed, that is the safe school I want my kid to attend.
Joe T Fiumara December 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Individuals should go through the same type of fireamrs training police officers go through and if they can not pass the training or show reasons why they should not be armed they should not be allowed to posses a firearm.
Eric December 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM
it is and always will be a sensitive subject, because any one of the armed volunteers or school staff members can snap on an unruly student or faculty member, and there you have it, another school shooting. I believe in the right to bear arms, and education is the key! If I had a child who I deemed untrustworthy around my weapons I would have to reconsider my choice to have a weapon around him or her. Education and responsibility is the key!!
Craig December 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Look, even if you despise guns and the NRA, you have to admit that what he's pointing at is true: our entertainment complex praises violence in all forms. Gore and blood movies are all the rage. Every Halloween we are subjected to more and more movies about serial killers. Our video games simulate WAR. Frickin' WAR for goodness sakes! Where are you libs with your anti-war and peace sensibilities? WHY IS A GAME LIKE CALL OF DUTY - a war game that engages the user in a life-life WAR and DEATH simulation allowed to be sold, pretty freely, to kids as young as 9-10? How does this not affect us? Why are you protesting the NRA but not the Electronic Arts of the companies that profit by exposing young men to simulated violence in a lifelike setting? WHY?
Piotr Gajewski December 22, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Eric, I am sure that you have very good judgment and can safely own an assault rifle with large ammunition clips. I also have to believe that Mrs. Lanza, up in Connecticut felt that she had good judgment. And I concede to being at least somewhat heartless to confessing that I do not care that the error in her own assessment of her judgment contributed to her own demise. But I do care a lot that her error contributed to the demise of 26 additional lives – 20 of them, little children. So that even though you and I think that your judgment is sound, the possibility that we might be wrong is not worth to me the risk that your guns and ammunition could some day take innocent lives.
Polly December 22, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Are you aware of all the studies that have contradicted that? I mean seriously, if violent movies and video games caused all this don't you think it would be more prevalent? What we have are absent deluded parents who refuse to acknowledge their child has some mental issues that need to be addressed. I understand why some would think placing armed guards in schools might be an answer, but has this even been really thought through enough? What if a student or staff member having mental issues gets a hold of that weapon? Not to mention the environment for those kids. I can just can't visualize an elementary aged child not being frightened just because of the presence of an armed guard? They would think, Why do we need an armed guard? Is it because we have something to fear? Is this environment conducive to a good education? I do wish however, that the media stop glorifying these incidents. It only gives incentive for the next one to kill more innocent victims. I don't have an issue per se with guns but do take issue with anyone really needing an assault weapon or clips that can hold countless rounds to kill more? Make it a little more difficult and inconvenient for those that want them. I'm not naive enough to think that if they really wanted one they could find one, but lets not make it so easy for them to do so.
Native December 22, 2012 at 04:27 PM
There's already armed security in the form of police officers in a large percentage of the nation's secondary schools. My kids attended a school in Montgomery County where on of the school's security staff was a retired elite federal law enforcement officer. I never asked him, but I assumed that he always carried a concealed weapon because of the manner of his dress. I found it reassuring as a parent knowing that highly trained and experienced fellow like this was on campus. There are many retired former law enforcement officers around the metro area and I think that it would be a good idea to explore a mechanism for them to volunteer to protect our children. They are trained, capable, I suspect that many would like to participate if they would be shielded from liability in a manner similar to active law enforcement professionals.
Chloe JonPaul December 22, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! The NRA should be dismantled. If I were still teaching and that happened, I would resign immediately.
Michael Shapiro December 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM
OK, beyond the fact that this is, maybe, the dumbest concept ever presented by a "public" figure, using erroneous numbers to "prove" the necessity of such armed guards there are upsides and downsides to Mr. LaPierre's proposal. 1. On the upside, there would need to be serious training, on the use of arms (and, presumably less lethal weaponry) for the "good guys" that the NRA envisions. That would mean setting up schools, manufacturing plants for pistols, tasers, uniforms, etc. There would be employment opportunities for thousands of currently unemployed individuals (think about the numbers involved, including guards not only during school time, but after school, evening programs, etc.). Of course large schools, such as middle schools, High Schools, would require multiple guards. 2. The primary downside would be...co$t. The total cost would be well into the billion$, if not trillion$, annually. That would mean serious increase in, oh wait I know, TAXE$. There is always the possibility that the NRA would be willing to use its budget, including having Mr. LaPierre cutting his salary by maybe a million dollars, and raising dues for its members to cover the costs. Think that'll wash?
Suzanne December 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I think that his is one of the dumbest, most irresponsible ideas I've ever heard.


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