The National Rifle Association finally spoke out today, one week after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting, and they had plenty to say.
After a brief rant blaming the news media for giving shooters too much attention, and film and video game makers for glorifying violence, the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, called for armed guards in every school in the nation. We protect celebrities, politicians and banks with guns, he reasoned, and should do the same for schools.
"Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you'll claim, 'are the NRA's answer to everything!'" he told a room of reporters and a few protesters. "Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. But since when did the word 'gun' automatically become a bad word?"
Here's the full transcript:
And here is a roundup of the NRA's history and its responses to recent school shootings.
Locally, some people have called for the same action. On Tuesday, the Bonner County Republican Central Committee passed a resolution urging Bonner County schools to train and arm employees, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported. According to Idaho law, "a person or an employee of the school or school district who is authorized to carry a firearm with the permission of the board of trustees of the school district or the governing board" may do so on school property.
Over the weekend, a few Pittsburgh schools got permission to arm guards, generating some local chatter over on KHQ. Nationwide, about 23,200 schools had armed security staff in the '09-'10 school year, The New York Times reports.
But, as discussion of the idea spreads, some are pointing out that Columbine High School had an armed community resource officer on duty the day of the shooting there and that the effects of armed guards haven't been studied much.