The most powerful gun-rights lobby in the US said it wants to address gun violence by having an armed police officer in every school in the country.
By Katie Zezima, Newtown
The comments by the National Rifle Association (NRA) came a week after a gunman killed 26 people at a Connecticut school, including 20 six and seven-year-olds.
The comments were the group’s first substantial ones since the shooting, while pressure has mounted 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 NRA executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre at a news conference.
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 shouted that guns in schools were not the answer.
The 4.3 million-member NRA may be facing its toughest challenge in the wake of national horror over last week’s massacre.
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, films 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,” he said.
As “some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent,” he added.
LaPierre also announced that former Representative Asa Hutchison will lead an NRA programme that will develop a model security plan for schools that relies on armed volunteers.
The NRA largely disappeared from public debate after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
Since the shooting, 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.
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.
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