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Should Long Beach Schools Follow NRA's Call for Armed Security?

'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 a Friday morning press conference in Washington D.C., 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 citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

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, Conn., 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.

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Ben Goldberg December 22, 2012 at 04:13 PM
The bad guys have and will always be able to get guns. I believe in the most recent tragedy that had there been a gun safe with only key personnel having acces would have saved lives. Taking away or severely limiting access for law abiding citizens from obtaining guns will not stop thes bad people from using guns on innocent people. We also should look back to history when the German Government took away all the guns and attempted to exterminate an entire group of people because of there religious beliefs. Had the Jews had been able to keep their guns, things would have gone much differently in Europe/Germany..
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 22, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Ben, I admit I never thought of the German government in relation to gun control in the U.S. But what of the fact that Virginia Tech had a police force and time to alert students electronically, for instance? Aside from citizens having the right to bear arms, and the guns in Sandy Hook belonged to the gunman's mother, there is still the question of why our country has so many more guns and so many more shootings? As a father and a coach with longtime involvement with youth organizations, you have known a lot of kids. What are your thoughts on that?
Ben Goldberg December 22, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I bought my first shotgun and 22 rifle this year. I was concerned about having guns in the house when my kids were young. I was more concerned with curious friends than my kids. It's all about being responsible. Storing the clips/ammunition separately and in secure places if course is the key to safety. If I knew my kids were at a home that had guns I had a discussion with the parents and my kids. I have a few interesting comments on my Facebook page regarding this discussion. Feel free to share. Thanks

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