Read the entire NRA statement transcript on Conn. school shooting
Entire statement/transcript from the NRA on the Conn. school shooting.WAYNE LAPIERREThe National Rifle Association’s 4 million mothers, fathers, sons anddaughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayerfor the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered suchincomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts areknown, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have triedto exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfullysilent.Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation’s children. Becausefor all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one— nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing andimmediate question we face: How do we protect our children rightnow, starting today, in a way that we know works?The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth.Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue pressreleases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. 2And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schoolsare their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Thinkabout it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks witharmed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants,courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armedsecurity.We care about the President, so we protect him with armed SecretService agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded byarmed Capitol Police officers.Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerablemembers of the American family — our children — we as a societyleave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of thisworld know it and exploit it. That must change now!The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number ofgenuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed byvoices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly evercomprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybodyreally believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on aschool he’s already identified at this very moment?How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment offame — from a national media machine that rewards them with thewall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — whileprovoking others to try to make their mark?A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly evenguess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an activenational database of the mentally ill?And the fact is, that wouldn’t even begin to address the much largerand more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gangmembers who have spread like cancer in every community in thiscountry. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40%— to the lowest levels in a decade.So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerouscriminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other naturalor man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a nationalnightmare of violence and victimization.And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best toconceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corruptingshadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm,Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one:it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How comemy research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t ordidn’t want anyone to know you had found it?Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho”and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on“Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos thatportray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they havethe nerve to call it “entertainment.”But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as away to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with oneanother to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilizedsociety by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior andcriminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day ofevery month of every year.A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporateowners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if notcomplicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings,the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for morelaws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonestthinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee thatthe next atrocity is only a news cycle away.The media call semi-automatic firearms “machine guns” — they claimthese civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, andthey tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle 5calibers … when all of these claims are factually untrue. They don’tknow what they’re talking about!Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban— or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protectus where 20,000 others have failed!As brave, heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were in thoseclassrooms, and as prompt, professional and well-trained as thosepolice were when they responded, they were unable — through nofault of their own — to stop it.As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It isnow time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school.The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personallyinvolved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thingthat stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would yourather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mileaway … or a minute away?Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrowmorning: “More guns,” you’ll claim, “are the NRA’s answer toeverything!” Your implication will be that guns are evil and have noplace in society, much less in our schools. But since when did theword “gun” automatically become a bad word?A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the Presidentisn’t a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the UnitedStates isn’t a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your 6living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won’t be able to pray hardenough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enoughto protect you.So why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect ourPresident or our country or our police, but bad when it’s used toprotect our children in their schools?They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our dutyto protect them — it’s our right to protect them.You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I saidwe should put armed security in every school, the media called mecrazy. But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way intoSandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted byqualified, armed security?Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 innocent lives might havebeen spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rathercontinue to risk the alternative?Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed byfear and hatred of the NRA and America’s gun owners that you’rewilling to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield thechildren in her care? No one — regardless of personal politicalprejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution toprotecting our children. But do know this President zeroed out schoolemergency planning grants in last year’s budget, and scrapped“Secure Our Schools” policing grants in next year’s budget.With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget,we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school? Even if they didthat, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying usthe right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselvesand our loved ones from harm.Now, the National Rifle Association knows that there are millions ofqualified active and retired police; active, reserve and retired military;security professionals; certified firefighters and rescue personnel; andan extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to joinwith local school officials and police in devising a protection plan forevery school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now. We canimmediately make America’s schools safer — relying on the brave menand women of America’s police force.The budget of our local police departments are strained and resourcesare limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none andthey can be deployed right now.I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever isnecessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do itnow, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our childrenreturn to school in January.Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debateover legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids returnto school after the holiday break, we need to have every single schoolin America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work —and by that I mean armed security.Right now, today, every school in the United States should planmeetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and localauthorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect acordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will havea different solution based on its own unique situation.Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate anddeploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in placeright now. And the National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminenttrainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. Thatexpertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and ourchildren now. We did it for the nation’s defense industries and militaryinstallations during World War II, and we’ll do it for our schools today.The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication andresources to develop a model National School Shield EmergencyResponse Program for every school that wants it. From armed securityto building design and access control to information technology tostudent and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will bedeveloped by the very best experts in their fields.Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as NationalDirector of the National School Shield Program, with a budget providedby the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as aU.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency andUndersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give himthe knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable andcredentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up andrunning from the first day forward.If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities,we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and thesecurity that is only available with a properly trained — armed —good guy.Under Asa’s leadership, our team of security experts will make thisthe best program in the world for protecting our children at school,and we will make that program available to every school in Americafree of charge.That’s a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positiveand indisputable difference in the safety of our children —starting right now.There’ll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time,this is the day for decisive action.We can’t wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act.We can’t lose precious time debating legislation that won’t work. We10mustn’t allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us.We must act now.For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on everyparent, every teacher, every school administrator and every lawenforcement officer in this country to join us in the National SchoolShield Program and protect our children with the only line of positivedefense that’s tested and proven to work.And now, to tell you more about the program, I’d like to introducethe head of that effort — a former U.S. congressman, formerU.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and formeradministrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, theHonorable Asa Hutchinson.ASA HUTCHINSONThank you, Wayne.One of the first responsibilities I learned at Homeland Security wasthe importance of protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure,and there is nothing more critical to our nation’s well being thanour children’s safety. They are this country’s future and her mostprecious resource.We all understand that our children should be safe in school, but it isalso essential that the parents have confidence in that safety. As aresult of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, that confidence hasbeen shattered. Assurance of school safety must be restored with asense of urgency.That is why I am grateful that the NRA has asked me to lead a team ofsecurity experts to assist our schools, parents and communities. I tookthis assignment on one condition: That my team of experts will beindependent and will be guided solely by what are the best securitysolutions for the safety of our children while at school.Even though we are just starting this process, I envision this initiativewill have two key elements: First, it would be based on a modelsecurity plan — a comprehensive strategy for school security based onthe latest, most up-to-date technical information from the foremostexperts in their fields.This model security plan will serve as a template — a set of bestpractices, principles and guidelines that every school in America cantweak, if needed, and tailor to their own set of circumstances.Every school and community is different, but this model security planwill allow every school to choose among its various components todevelop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique situation,whether it’s a large urban school, a small rural school or anythingin between.Armed, trained, qualified school security personnel will be one elementof that plan, but by no means the only element. If a school decides forwhatever reason that it doesn’t want or need armed securitypersonnel, that of course is a decision to be made by parents at thelocal level.The second point I want to make is that this will be a program thatdoesn’t depend on massive funding from local authorities or thefederal government. Instead, it’ll make use of local volunteers servingin their own communities.In my home state of Arkansas, my son was a volunteer with a localgroup called “Watchdog Dads,” who volunteer their time at schools topatrol playgrounds and provide a measure of added security.Whether they’re retired police, retired military or rescue personnel,I think there are people in every community in this country, who wouldbe happy to serve, if only someone asked them and gave them thetraining and certification to do so.The National Rifle Association is the natural, obvious choice to sponsorthis program. Their gun safety, marksmanship and hunter educationprograms have set the standard for well over a century. Over the past25 years, their Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program has taught over 26million kids that real guns aren’t toys and, today, child gun accidentsare at the lowest levels ever recorded.School safety is a complex issue with no simple, single solution.But I believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key componentamong many that can provide the first line of deterrence as well asthe last line of defense. And I welcome the opportunity to serve in thisvital, potentially lifesaving effort.Source: