Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, made a second effort at selling his views on the Newtown school shooting massacre to the public in a contentious appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning.
LaPierre’s speech on Friday in Washington drew protesters and stoked the fierce debate over U.S. gun laws in a nation with a culture of gun ownership and a history of school shootings and other gun violence.
Pressed repeatedly by host David Gregory on whether gun control played a role as one of several possible solutions to the spate of mass shootings in recent years, LaPierre didn’t budge.
“If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,” LaPierre said. “I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe.”
However, LaPierre on Friday launched a program that seeks to install police officers and/or armed security at every school in the country, with the idea being that armed, trained security could prevent further carnage.
He added that the United States is now spending $2 billion to train police officers in Iraq and asked why federal funds could not be spent to train school guards to protect schools in the United States.
President Barack Obama has tasked Vice President Joe Biden with the job of consulting with members of the Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with legislative proposals by next month.
LaPierre also strongly suggested that the NRA would fight any new measures that would limit gun purchases, calling them ineffective and denouncing the assault weapons ban as a “phony piece of legislation.”
He dismissed the legislation on certain types of semi-automatic firearms that has been proposed by Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, as a phony piece of legislation” “based on lies” which, he predicted, would not become law.
“It’s not going to make any kid safer,” he said. “We’ve got to get to the real problems, the real causes, and that’s what the NRA is trying to do.”
“The NRA is not going to let people lose the Second Amendment in this country,” LaPierre said Sunday, and at that point he does sound like an expert on what he calls the “cracked” mental health system, because that system is clearly doing nothing as he goes from his press conference Friday to national television sounding like a slobbering idiot, the NY Daily News reports.
Among the causes LaPierre cited on Friday for school shootings were video games, environmental disasters and gun-free school zones.
The idea of putting armed guards in schools has drawn criticism from many who point out that in at least one high-profile school shooting case, in Columbine, Colo.,there actually was an armed guard, who tried and failed to stop two students from killing more than a dozen of their classmates and one teacher.
According to the Guardian, Charles Schumer, a Democratic Senator from New York, said on Meet the Press that LaPierre was “so doctrinaire” that gun owners themselves would turn against the NRA.
“Trying to prevent shootings in schools without talking about guns is like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes,” Schumer said.
Schumer said that LaPierre believes “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is good gun with a gun. What about trying to stop the bad guy from getting the gun in the first place? That’s common sense. Most Americans agree with it.”