Gun lobby asks for more guns to end mass shootings in US
A protester holds up a sign as National Rifle Association official LaPierre (L) speaks during a news conference in Washington. LaPierre called for armed guards to be stationed in every school.
The most powerful gun lobby in the United States is standing firm against any additional restraints on firearms and ammunition sales following Dec. 14’s deadly Connecticut shooting, pushing for armed guards to be stationed in every U.S. school.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), said Dec. 23 that planned legislation to outlaw military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines was “phony” and would not work.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre told Dec. 21. LaPierre reaffirmed the group’s position in NBC’s “Meet the Press” and launched a fierce defense of gun owners’ rights, which he portrayed as being imperiled by “rich folk in cities,” elite politicians and a hysterical media.
“The average guy in the country values his freedom, doesn’t believe the fact that he can own a gun is part of the problem and doesn’t like the media and all these politicians blaming him,” he said. LaPierre also contended that any new efforts by Congress to regulate guns or ammunition would not prevent mass shootings.
“I think that is a phony piece of legislation, and I do not believe it will pass for this reason,” LaPierre said. “It is all built on lies that have been found out.” The NRA points to the fact that the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, when 12 children and a teacher were gunned down by two senior students, occurred despite similar legislation being in force at the time. “I keep saying it, and you just won’t accept it: it’s not going to work, it hasn’t worked. [Senator] Dianne Feinstein had her ban and Columbine occurred.”
‘Prosecute criminals, fix mental health system’
Feinstein has pledged to submit a bill on Jan. 3 that would ban at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, while also curbing the transfer, importation and possession of such arms.
LaPierre repeated the NRA’s call to place an armed guard in every school and argued that prosecuting criminals and fixing the mental health system, rather than gun control, were the solutions to the U.S.’ mass shooting epidemic.
He said the American people think it would be “crazy” not to put armed guards in every school. “If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. If I’m a mom or a dad and I’m dropping my child off at school, I feel a whole lot safer.”
After first killing his mother in their home, a heavily armed 20-year-old, Adam Lanza, entered Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 and raked students, teachers and administrators with gunfire.
The bloodshed has reopened a national debate on the country’s gun laws, which are far more lax than in most other developed nations. President Barack Obama said he would support a new bill to ban assault rifles and put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a panel looking at a wide range of other measures.
Amid continuous debate, U.S. gun rights advocates have signed a White House petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported for allegedly attacking the Second Amendment rights of ordinary Americans.
On Dec. 18, Morgan held an especially contentious interview with Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt. “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” Morgan asked during the heated debate. “You have absolutely no coherent argument. You don’t actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America.” Morgan refused to back down from his position.
Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.