Will Following the NRA's Suggestion for Armed Campus Security Lead to Safe Schools in South San Francisco?

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

In an amazing Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT 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."

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

“I’m not one to believe that bringing more guns onto campus by anyone is the best answer or the best solution,” said State Senator Jerry Hill who represents most of San Mateo County.

At the grassroots level, groups like Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, CT said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"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'."

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"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.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

What do you think?  Are armed guards at our schools the best solution to the kind of violence that occurred at Columbine High School in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary Newtown, Connecticut?  Tell us in comments.

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Bite Koch December 22, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Why on earth would any school district follow the advise of an unelected, special interest group with NO educational experience?! I will not send my child to any school where any of the staff have firearms! Way to go, Medea! Code Pink rocks!
wolfone December 22, 2012 at 06:02 PM
The NRA's"response" is the biggest load of bull pucky ever! Remember Gabby Gifford's had a gun, a glock, and was shot point blank. More guns is not the answer. Ban assault weapons, ban clips over 10 shots, and make mandatory insurance for ever gun owned, Ammo not over the internet and tax it, a National License Registry for each each gun, and proof of insurance for each gun just like cars. Any guns not registered are taken away.
wolfone December 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Vote out the crazy! Every time I vote I try to see if they are "Crazy" or sane ie: R or D. Today the head of the NRA said "If bringing guns to school is crazy than call me crazy"!!!! Vote out the CrAzY! We do vote for School board members...Just sayin'!
Mike December 24, 2012 at 01:43 AM
What does the California State "Gun Control Laws" (strictest in the nation) already address? I understand that some of what you propose is already covered in CA at least. What will insurance provide? How will a law forbidding ammo sales over the internet or banning assualt weapons stop people from committing illegal acts? Of the millions of LEGAL gun owners in CA how many are involved in illegal acts? As a former Police Officer I do not now see, nor have I ever seen legal gun owners as being the real problem. The problem I believe has always been the gang bangers and other “outlaws” who are in illegal possession of a firearm. Hunters and shooters are very often in compliance with the laws and have no malicious intent to violate such laws. Laws are ignored by criminals so where gun control laws are concerned all we often do is make more laws that restrict the freedom of those people who would likely never violate the law or commit an illegal act anyway. That is not to say that we should not have laws governing the ownership of a gun but do we actually need more gun control or ammo purchasing laws in CA. I do not think so.


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