The National Rifle Association spoke out about gun violence Friday, one week after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children, and brought heavy scrutiny upon the pro-gun organization.
In a press conference, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre shifted the blame for the proliferation of gun violence in America to the media and called for an armed police officer in every school.
“In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year,” LaPierre said.
“I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.”
LaPierre’s remarks portrayed gun violence as an inevitable part of society, and his speech was interrupted several times by protesters.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
The NRA has been accused of using its political influence to proliferate the use and sale of guns in America, leading to increased violence.
Former congressman Asa Hutchinson also spoke on behalf of the organization, trumpeting the NRA’s National School Shield Program — a new effort hatched in the wake of the Sandy Hood tragedy. The plan calls for local, trained volunteers to provide security at schools nationwide.
“School safety is a complex issue with no simple, single solution. But I believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of deterrence as well as the last line of defense,” Hutchinson said.
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(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)