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NRA calls for armed police officer in every school

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest gun-rights lobby called Friday for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings."

The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead.

The group's top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference that "the next Adam Lanza," the man responsible for last week's mayhem, is planning an attack on another school.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.

He blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out.

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes," LaPierre said.

He refused to take any questions after speaking. Still, though security was tight, two protesters were able to interrupt LaPierre's speech, holding up signs that blamed the NRA for killing children. Both were escorted out, shouting that guns in schools are not the answer.

More than a dozen security officers checked media credentials at various checkpoints and patrolled the hotel ballroom.

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 4.3 million-member NRA largely disappeared from public debate after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., choosing atypical silence as a strategy as the nation sought answers after the rampage. The NRA temporarily took down its Facebook page and kept quiet on Twitter.

Since the slayings, President Barack Obama has demanded "real action, right now" against U.S. gun violence and called on the NRA to join the effort. Moving quickly after several congressional gun-rights supporters said they would consider new legislation to control firearms, the president said this week he wants proposals to reduce gun violence that he can take to Congress by January.

Obama has already asked Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and pass legislation that would stop people from purchasing firearms from private sellers without a background check. Obama also has indicated he wants Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity magazines.

 

Statement of Mayor Thomas M. Menino in response to NRA press conference:

There is an outpouring of voices demanding real change to make our communities safer. Clearly the NRA's leadership is not one of them. What they announced today is not a plan, but a ploy to bring more guns into our neighborhoods. I don't believe the answer to gun violence is more guns. The American people are tired of the same buzzwords and rhetoric that have moved this debate nowhere and put lives at risk.  It's time for a common sense national gun policy.  It's time to take action on background checks, assault weapons, high capacity magazines, missing mental health records and closing private sales loopholes.  There is so much work to do; we don't have time for rehashed and tired ideas.  The American people and the families of the 34 people killed every day by gun violence demand nothing less.

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