Reporting Tim Kephart
South Florida Crime
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A little more than an hour after a moment of silence was marked across the nation to remember the 26 lives lost in the Newtown school shootings, the National Rifle Association finally broke its silence on the issue.
NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre gave a lengthy statement Friday morning where he blamed the shooting on everything from the media to violent video games to even rap music.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said Friday.
Instead of fewer weapons, the NRA called for more guns in schools whether they are carried by teachers or others. Specifically, the NRA said there should be armed security guards in every single school in the nation, a similar idea LaPierre pitched after the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.
LaPierre attacked the media for covering the school shootings, blamed violent video games like Mortal Kombat, which has been on the market for years, and Hollywood movies like Natural Born Killers for the problems with guns.
At two different points during the speech by LaPierre, protesters held up signs and shouted down the NRA leader. Both protesters were eventually removed from the room, but not before getting their messages across to anyone watching the press conference.
The overriding theme from the NRA was that despite the horrific shootings of 20 elementary school kids and six adults; the group will not allow any gun control laws to move forward.
“Worse, they (the media) perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!,” LaPierre said during his speech.
Wally Philbrick is a cop and gun store owner in Hollywood and agreed with LaPierre’s position and said that if the cop in school idea didn’t work, teachers should be armed.
“Put gun boxes in the hallways,” Philbrick said. “Gun boxes in important positions, like certain positions in the school. Maybe it’s a key code or key code and a key.”
A large question that was left unanswered by LaPierre was where would the funding for such a program come from in the current austerity crisis Washington is enveloped in.
Democrats and independents quickly panned the speech as being “shameful.”
“Their (NRA) press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no one is safe.”
Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzberger said the county already has police in middle and high schools, now the discussion is about elementary schools. But, she said that’s only part of the fix.
“No one, not a hunter, not a person has a need for an assault weapon or for a magazine clip with a hundred bullets in it,” Gunzberger said. “Those should be outright banned immediately.”
The conversation about gun control accelerated with Friday’s news conference from the NRA, but any decision may be a long time coming from Congress as it still has to deal with the fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, and several other issues in the short-term.