In a Friday morning press conference, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, Conn., and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said.
"Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. 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."
"If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys'."
"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.
While not willing to speak directly on the NRA's school shield proposal as he had yet to read it, Belmont School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston said that there is a great difference between School Resource Officers which the Belmont Board of Selectmen proposed Monday to return to Belmont High School and the concept of armed personnel such as retired police officers protecting schools.
"School Resource Officers are trained public police personnel who know how to engage with students and who abide by formal protocols established through a memorandum of agreement developed by the school district and local police department," said Kingston, who said this week that he had successful
But "'[a]rmed guards' are not, therefore, school resource officers," said Kingston.
In his speech, LaPierre also accused the media of selling "violence against its own people" through violent video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. He did not take questions from reporters.