Today, National Rifle Association (NRA) EVP Wayne LaPierre unveiled a “plan” to place “armed police officers in every single school in this nation,” which was met with varying degrees of anger, confusion, hostility, and overall disgust.
Here’s a roundup.
The NRA’s Washington leadership has long been out of step with its members, and never has that been so apparent as this morning. Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country. Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.
Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA’s lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. While they promote armed guards, they continue to oppose the most basic and common sense steps we can take to save lives – not only in schools, but in our movie theaters, malls, and streets. Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics. Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns.
That’s why 74 percent of NRA members support common sense restrictions like criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun. It is time for Americans who care about the Second Amendment and reasonable gun restrictions to join together to work with the President and Congress to stop the gun violence in this country.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) December 21, 2012
Conservatism truly is broken.
— davidfrum (@davidfrum) December 21, 2012
“After remaining silent for an entire week following the Newtown massacre, the NRA’s first comments were to call for more guns in our schools and our society. This is both irresponsible and dangerous. No matter how much money the NRA spends or propaganda it tries to spread, one thing is clear—the NRA is not serious about confronting the epidemic of gun violence in our nation. “Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses. Anyone who would suggest otherwise doesn’t understand that our public schools must first and foremost be places where teachers can safely educate and nurture our students.”
Mass shooting in PA during #NRA press conf this morning. Police were there and innocent lives were still lost. More guns are not the answer
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) December 21, 2012
Today’s @nra remarks are some of the most stupid, asinine, insensitive, ridiculous comments I have ever heard made in the public arena.
— Christine C. Quinn (@ChrisCQuinn) December 21, 2012
“In general I don’t think that the solution to safety in schools is putting an armed guard because for it to be really effective in my view, from a law enforcement perspective, you have to have an armed guard at every classroom,” he said during an event in Newark Friday morning. “Because if you just have an armed guard at the front door then what if this guy had gone around to the side door? There’s many doors in and out of schools.”
And he said he doesn’t like the idea of having multiple armed guards inside schools. “I don’t necessarily think having an armed guard outside every classroom is conducive to a positive learning environment,” he said.
Hi, I’m an NRA member who thinks we should train and arm all teachers.Oh, and I also believe in smaller government.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) December 21, 2012
Today, Daniel Gross, the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said, “What was said today is not indicative of the conversation the American public wants to have.” He then extended the following message to the millions of Americans who hold an NRA membership.
“To the 74 percent of NRA members who support requiring a criminal background check of anyone purchasing a gun…To the 87 percent of NRA members who believe that the 2nd Amendment can coexist with efforts to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals… To all NRA members who believe like we do, that we are better than this, we send this message… Join us. Join us in making sure the gun violence ends now. We are all Americans and we all agree we are better than this.”
By the time LaPierre insisted upon a national database of the mentally ill, one could be forgiven for wondering whether it should include the paranoid, delusional man himself because his description of people “so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them” surely fits the hard core of the NRA.
He envisions a world in which the only way to stop a school shooting is to welcome school shootouts.
And this, apparently, is a world that the most fervent gun advocates and their allies in Congress would welcome.
For all that advocates of sensible gun-safety measures have said in the past seven days, nothing did more to discredit the merchants of weapons of death than their own chief advocate’s callous rant.
The New Republic: A Guide to the NRA’s Crazy Press Conference on School Violence
NRA logic: kids play too many video games with guns in them. We need more guns in every school
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) December 21, 2012
“I don’t even know where to begin,” Steele said. “As a supporter of the Second Amendment and a supporter of the NRA, even though I’m not a member of the NRA, I just found it very haunting and very disturbing that our country now, that are talking about arming our teachers and our principals in classrooms. What does that say about us? And I do not believe that’s where the American people want to go. I do not believe that is the response that should be coming out of the tragedy in Newtown.”
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 21, 2012
NRA’s play worked. Media discussion is all about whether putting guards in schools is a good idea, and not about gun law reforms
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) December 21, 2012
The NRA believes gun ownership protects against a military state, but also believes we need a military state to protect gun ownership.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) December 21, 2012
Something truely shocking about seeng the US NRA in the flesh: A real whiff of the Taliban about their irational love of the gun.
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) December 21, 2012
Exact quote just now from the NRA press conference. “This is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking any questions.”
— Jay Rosen(@jayrosen_nyu) December 21, 2012
The NRA’s insane idea about more guns in schools wapo.st/WBXWz7
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 21, 2012
Today the NRA came off as tone deaf, unwilling to address the real problem, & willfully blind to the problem it helped fuel. And irrelevant.
— Touré (@Toure) December 21, 2012
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