ABC NEWS: The National Rifle Association stood its ground today in arguing that the answer to gun violence in schools is an armed security force that can protect students, while blaming the media and violent entertainment and video games for recent deadly shootings. “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in presenting the NRA’s first comments about the Connecticut school shooting since it occurred a week ago today. LaPierre offered no olive branch to gun-control advocates who have called for tougher laws in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Instead, he called for schools across the country to recruit armed security professionals to protect their students. MORE
MEANWHILE IN PENNSYLVANIA: Authorities say one of a gunman’s three victims was a woman fatally shot while decorating for a children’s Christmas party at a central Pennsylvania church. MORE
PHAWKER: Time to officially recognize the NRA for what they are — a terrorist organization. If any other organization advocated for policies that kill 30,000 Americans every year, they would be designated as such.
BALTIMORE SUN: After a week of silence after the massacre in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association went on the attack Friday morning, insisting that mass killings are the fault of the media, politicians who pass laws banning firearms from schools, the government’s refusal to assemble a database of the mentally ill, the president for eliminating funding for some school safety grants — the fault, in other words, of everybody but the NRA, and the fault of everything except the flood of guns, including high-powered assault weapons, in our society.
Apparently he is unaware that many schools already have police officers stationed in them and that gun-free-school acts don’t prevent law enforcement officials from bringing their service weapons on school grounds. Evidently, he is unaware that Virginia Tech has its own police force on campus and that it was unable to stop the killing there. Perhaps he missed the fact that mass shootings occur in theaters, shopping malls, offices, even temples, and that adding more armed guards to schools would do nothing to stop them.
What Mr. LaPierre and the NRA are unwilling to confront is the fact that the gunmen in Connecticut and in Aurora, Colo., came armed with weapons designed for one purpose only — killing people — and that they possessed arsenals easily capable of overwhelming a single police officer. What are the chances that an armed guard at Sandy Hook Elementary would have been able to stop a man who shot his way through a locked door, or that an officer might have stopped a man who came into a movie theater wearing battle gear and tossing tear gas canisters? Schools in Maryland and throughout the nation have placed additional resources into school security. That’s appropriate and in many cases does prevent violence. But it’s no reason not to take reasonable action to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation or to close the loopholes that allow so many firearms sales to be conducted outside the purview of criminal background checks.
The NRA had an opportunity today to prove that it is just as responsible as an organization as most of its members are with their firearms. Instead, with a mantra that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” it has disqualified itself as a part of the national conversation about how to deal with the threat of gun violence. Its response was so tone deaf, so inflexible, that the public cannot help but shudder. In all but the most conservative districts, standing with the NRA must now be considered a much bigger liability for our political leaders than standing against it. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: How To Disarm The NRA
PREVIOUSLY: There Is A Mass Murder Every Two Weeks In This Country