herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun'

NRA: Firearm lobby wants armed cop in every school

The most powerful gun-rights lobby in the US now says it wants to address gun violence by having an armed police officer in every school in the country.

The comments by the National Rifle Association came exactly a week after the Connecticut school massacre in which 26 people died, including 20 children aged six and seven.

The comments were the group's first substantial ones since the shooting, while pressure has mounted in Washington and elsewhere for more measures against gun violence.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said the NRA's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre.

At least two protesters broke up his announcement, despite tight security. One man held up a large red banner that said 'NRA killing our kids.' The protesters were taken away by security, shouting that guns in schools are not the answer.

The 4.3 million-member National Rifle Association may be facing its toughest challenge in the wake of national horror over last week's killing of children, many of them shot multiple times and at close range by high-powered rifle.







Shock

Mr LaPierre said "the next Adam Lanza," the 20-year-old responsible for last week's shooting, is planning an attack on another school.

He blamed the media, video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out.

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilised society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behaviour and criminal cruelty right into our homes," LaPierre said. As "some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent," he added.

The NRA largely disappeared from public debate after the shootings in Newtown, choosing atypical silence as a strategy as the US sought answers after the rampage. The NRA temporarily took down its Facebook page and kept quiet on Twitter.







Petition

Since the outrage, US President Barack Obama has demanded "real action, right now" against gun violence and called on the NRA to join the effort.

His administration has been moving quickly after several congressional gun-rights supporters said they would consider new legislation to control firearms.

Mr Obama has said he wants proposals on reducing gun violence that he can take to Congress by January, and he put Vice President Joe Biden, a gun control advocate with decades of experience in the Senate, in charge of the effort.

The president said in a video released yesterday that the White House has received an outpouring of support for stricter gun laws over the past week. "We hear you," he said.

A 'We The People' petition on the White House website allows the public to submit petitions. Nearly 200,000 people have urged Mr Obama to address gun control in one petition, and petitions related to gun violence have amassed more than 400,000 signatures.

At the same time, however, gun shops have reported higher sales, including of assault weapons. A spike in sales is common after mass shootings.

hnews@herald.ie

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