COMMENTARY: NRA breaks silence over Newtown school shooting with a sales pitch for more guns


The National Rifle Association broke its week-long silence over the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting by delivering a sales pitch for more guns. 

NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre today announced the launch of a national “school shields” program, which will provide security consulting – primarily arming school staff, volunteers, or security personnel – to schools all over the country.

Read more: 20 children killed in Newtown, Conn.

“The National Rifle Association – as America’s pre-eminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years – we have 11,000 police training instructors in the NRA is ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help,” LaPierre boasted.“Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our school and our children now.”

Seeking to divert attention from tougher gun laws, LaPierre claimed that the Newtown shooting, which killed 26 people including 20 children, demonstrated the need to arm teachers and school staff with guns.

“As brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms and as prompt and professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable – through no fault of their own – unable to stop him,”LaPierre said. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

LaPierre insisted that every school in America must immediately adopt armed security notwithstanding the budget constraints plaguing many schools and local law enforcement programs.

“Every school in America needs to immediately identify dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place though right now,”LaPierre declared.  

In essence, LaPierre was saying that schools should spend more money on armed guards – trained by the NRA and conveniently equipped with weapons manufactured by the organization’s big funders – even as most schools are struggling to pay for books and other supplies needed to properly educate their students.

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), who will be heading the NRA’s school initiative, said he will be developing a security plan “template” that schools can adopt. Hutchinson didn’t offer any specifics on what the NRA’s security plan will entail except to mention that “armed, trained, qualified school security personnel” will be a key element.

Although Hutchinson claimed that the NRA’s template could be “tweaked as needed” by schools, he was clearly working a hard sell for armed guards with this fear-mongering threat: “If a school decides for whatever reason that it doesn’t want or need armed security personnel, that of course is a decision to be made by the parents and the local school board at the local level.”


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