(CBS) - In its first public statement since the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school last week, the National Rifle Association called on Congress to "act immediately" to put armed police officers in every school in America.
"The only thing that
can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said Wayne LaPierre, the
NRA's CEO and executive vice president.
"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed
Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by
Capitol Police officers," said LaPierre.
"Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."
In the week since 20 children and six teachers were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the national dialogue has turned to guns and gun control. On Dec. 19, President Obama announced the formation of a task force on gun safety. The NRA press conference came after a period of relative silence from the organization, which announced in a statement on Dec. 18 that, in the wake of Newtown, it would announce "meaningful contributions" to the debate on Friday.
LaPierre, who did not take questions, discussed a decline in gun prosecutions, the impact of violent video games and movies like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers," (which he said were "aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day"). He also spoke of the nation's "refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill."
Two protesters interrupted Friday's presentation, one carrying a sign reading "NRA Killing our Kids" and another with a sign reading "NRA Blood on Your Hands."
At the end of his speech, LaPierre introduced former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark) who he said had been appointed the national director of the NRA's new National Model School Shield Program.
"The NRA is [going to] bring all its knowledge, all its dedication and all its resources to develop a model national schools shield emergency response program for every single school in America that wants it," said LaPierre.
"From armed security to building design and access control, to information technology, to student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field."