NRA calls for armed guards in schools following Newtown tragedy
WASHINGTON (KABC) -- The National Rifle Association broke its silence regarding the Newtown, Connecticut shooting Friday by calling for armed officers in every public school in the country.
There are over 19,000 public schools in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That would mean a lot of armed security guards.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre spoke in Washington DC and was twice interrupted by protesters raising signs. One of the signs said stop killing our kids. The head of the NRA only briefly paused as the protestors were led out of the room.
"Would you rather have your 9-1-1 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away?" asked LaPierre.
LaPierre used the example of the Newtown, Connecticut killer to explain why the armed school police are needed.
"Does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified?" asked LaPierre.
Wayne LaPierre also blamed many things for the violence, from violent movies and games, to news media ignorance.
Women with children trying to wrap up their Christmas shopping had not heard about the armed security guard proposal. After hearing of the NRA's proposal, many mothers had mixed responses.
"I think it depends on the school and the situation," said Debbi Gonzalez. "Every parent kind of knows their school best, I don't know necessarily maybe armed."
"I think it's a good idea for the safety of our children," said Anna Lara. "Nowadays, we're not sure what's going on."
To protect children with the use of armed guards will take more than a uniform and a gun according to experts.
CEO Hal Kempfer of KIPP Intelligence is a security expert who has advised schools around the world. He says the NRA's proposal has some merits but the biggest issues are going to be cost and training.
"There's a lot of training that has to go into that because of the chance of collateral casualties, accidental discharges, not to mention the fact that a school is a very specific piece of urban terrain," said Kempfer.
California's U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal support a ban on assault weapons. However, neither senators support the NRA.
"Is this the answer that America should become an armed camp?" asked Feinstein. "I don't think so. I don't think that's the American dream."
LaPierre is asking Congress to fund the plan, which could cost nearly $5 billion a year.
The NRA said they'd also develop an emergency program that would include volunteers from the NRA to help guard children.
school shooting, newtown school shooting, school, national news, john north
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