News24

NRA gun lobby urges armed guards

2012-12-21 22:53

Washington - The United States' most powerful pro-gun lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, called on Friday for armed police or security guards to be deployed to every school in the country.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," declared NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre, in the group's first reaction since last week's massacre of 26 children and staff in an elementary school.

In a combative statement that was briefly disrupted by two protesters bearing banners accusing the group of having blood on its hands, senior NRA leaders made no concession to calls for greater gun control.

Instead, they demanded that schools be immediately given armed protection.

"I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation," LaPierre said, in a lengthy statement. He took no questions from reporters.

He said the NRA was ready to help train security teams for schools and work with teachers and parents to improve security measures, and attacked the media and the political class for demonizing gun owners.

On Friday, a troubled 20-year-old man burst into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and gunned down 20 six- and seven-year-old children and six staff members trying to protect them, before taking his own life.

The massacre was only the latest in a series of criminal mass shootings in the United States this year, and prompted President Barack Obama to throw his weight behind plans to revive a ban on assault weapons.

But LaPierre insisted that gun ownership was not at the root of the problem, blaming the deaths instead on a lack of armed security and accusing Hollywood movies and video games of celebrating and promoting a culture of violence.

"You know, five years ago after the Virginia Tech tragedy when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy," he said, referring to a 2007 campus shooting that left 32 people dead.

"But what if, what if when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday he'd been confronted by qualified armed security?" he demanded.

"Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 little kids - that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day? Is it so abhorrent to you that you'd rather continue to risk the alternative?"

Comments
  • pwhanekom - 2012-12-21 23:17

    Brilliant! Fight violence with violence! And I thought South Africa was a banana republic.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 00:14

      Politicians always surround themselves with armed guards. How many 'politician massacres' has there been in the US lately? But to provide armed guards at schools is all of a sudden a ridiculous idea? Think, do you want to be nice and PC, or do you want a working, practical and immediate solution to a serious problem?

      warren.slater.353 - 2012-12-22 05:32

      @willem.... There is merit in what you say but anyone who intends going on a shooting spree now just has to shoot the guard first, then carry on as normal. Since the perpetrator has the element of surprise there's a good chance of being successful. I think outlawing civilians owning assault rifles is a reasonable plan. Letting the public buy machine guns is madness. It won't stop the killers but it will limit their firepower.

      sheamus.drager - 2012-12-22 07:25

      If this doesn't scare the sh8t out of American parents, nothing will.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 08:26

      @Gollum. Machine guns (full-auto) cannot be owned by civilians in the US, only semi-auto guns. Semi-autos were banned in Australia after the Tasmanian shooting. What happened? The use of guns in crime INCREASED. Overall violent crime 10 years later was 42% higher... And, a well trained guard will not sit there like a pot-plant waiting to get shot, and if teachers are allowed to carry concealed, a deranged criminal does not have a chance. This Newtown school was of course protected by a piece of paper proclaiming it a 'gun free zone' and the law-abiding teachers had to obey..

      lambertus.louw - 2012-12-22 09:10

      @willemdaniel.venter I'm with you on that one 100%

      lambertus.louw - 2012-12-22 09:30

      @jadool.kazinski speaking of facts, check my post below: "It's interesting how many people react from gut instinct and ignore cold hard facts when it comes to gun violence. Fact, South Africa has a much higher crime rate than the USA. Fact, South Africa has much stricter gun control than the USA. Are these facts related perhaps? Another fact to consider is that Switzerland, one of the most famous neutral countries in the world and arguably one of the safest countries in the world also has the one of the highest levels of legal ownership. Nearly every adult male owns a military assault weapon and has had military training. Some interesting facts that lead to an obvious conclusion. Legal responsible gun owners are the greatest deterrent to criminals with guns. Stricter gun control has nearly everywhere lead to higher levels of crime and in some cases genocide examples being Rwanda, Nazi Germany, Cambodia, need I go on?. Why? Well, has anyone considered how many criminals would willing lay down their arms if stricter gun control measures were enacted? Fact, gun control has only ever disarmed law abiding citizens. Fact, criminals would rather target unarmed victims where they are guaranteed the upper hand than risking their lives against an armed citizen. All the recent cases of shooting sprees in the USA have taken place in so called gun's free zones - the results of misdirected gun control. Think about it."

      brenton.tyrrell - 2012-12-22 10:12

      There are two pertinent quotes relating to this debate; 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people' and 'If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. It's time for the loony left to stop demonising guns and legal, responsible gun owners. There is always the knee jerk reaction of banning 'assault weapons' when something like this happens. Believe me a pump action shotgun at close quarters is pretty devastating. There is a rumour that Israeli school teachers are armed. Well, whether it is urban legend or not, there are no school massacres there. I don't think it would be a bad idea to have armed guards at schools. Criminals don't care about 'gun free zones', in fact they love them. Soft targets are what they're looking for. Look what happened when gunmen burst into the St James church and started shooting people randomly. One man in the congregation, Charl van Wyk, was armed and effectively saved a number of lives by his defensive action. 'FIGHT CRIME, SHOOT BACK'

      warren.slater.353 - 2012-12-22 12:03

      @ willemdaniel.venter What reason is there for the public to have access to that level of firepower? It's not the kind of thing one would go hunting with. According to a source in the US you may only own a machine gun that was manufactured and registered with the BATF before May 19, 1986. Weapons manufactured after that date are restricted for Military and Law Enforcement use only.

      bullet.proof.9400 - 2012-12-22 16:20

      Guns don't kill it's the user that kills and I agree if there were armed gaurds at Colimbine and this place the death toll would be a lot lower if any at all

  • Ollie - 2012-12-21 23:23

    Surely it would be better to get rid of the cause if the solution has to be this drastic.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 00:08

      There is not a single example where civilian disarmament has led to a reduction in crime. On the contrary, it ALWAYS lead to an increase in violent crime. It was the case in both Britain and Australia after similar shooting incidents led to knee-jerk legislation by ill-advised politicians. Hitler was of course the first politician to propagate civilian disarmament. It also happened in Soviet Russia, before 20 million 'dissidents' disappeared into the gulags. The Rowandan government also saw a need for it in the mid 90's...

      Ollie - 2012-12-22 00:41

      @Vox, In this case he was able to get his hands on the weapons because his mother bought and kept them legally, if there was a ban on guns then it would make it near impossible for criminals to get such weapons. I'm by no means saying criminals will now have a moral dilemma if they're outlawed it will just make the situation far more easy to restrict. Almost all weapons found in Mexico used by the drug cartels are smuggled from the US precisely because they are outlawed in Mexico so criminals have no way of stealing/ buying on black market arsenal in their own country.

      Ollie - 2012-12-22 00:47

      Although I would say In SA guns are needed as with the levels of corruption and mismanagement in politics/police coupled with the vast amount of crime I can not foresee a situation where guns are effectively controlled.

      lambertus.louw - 2012-12-22 09:23

      @ollie I think you are quite mistaken about criminal's ability to obtain weapons to commit their crimes. Closing down the flow of illegal guns from the US will only open it in another quarter. Mexico is actually a prime example of gun control that doesn't work - think about it, unarmed civilians with drug cartels that are armed to the teeth.

  • Ollie - 2012-12-21 23:26

    What next, send kids to school with bullet proof vests?...

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-12-21 23:44

      A company in the US has already starting selling bulletproof backpacks so I guess that's the next step. It's sad that parents and kids have to live in fear 'cause of a few SOBs!

  • willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-21 23:36

    The incidents at Virginia Tech, Batman premiere, and this latest shooting was in gun-free zones. It simply means nobody could defend themselves. Two teachers stormed the perpetrator in the latest incident, but were killed. In the St. James shooting in Cape Town, a single armed church-goer stopped the attack by several machine gun wielding attackers and prevented a massacre in the packed church. A single armed teacher or guard could have prevented this massacre as well... Gun free zones should be called 'helpless victim zones'..

      Ollie - 2012-12-22 00:55

      I can see your point, but think South Africa and the US are very different situations and believe that the US could tackle gun control as they did in UK after the Snowdrop Campaign. So far this year authorities in the UK have seized 500 illegal weapons whereas in Boston alone so far this year they have seized the same figure; point being outlawing guns reduces the amount circling availability to criminals.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 08:00

      Violent crime in Britain has steadily risen since handguns were outlawed. Same happened in Australia. You may not even carry a pocket knife with you in the UK any more. All this does is making criminals armed with ANYTHING, all powerful. On March 25, 1990, a single deranged man killed 87 people in a New York nightclub with... a can of petrol and a match..

  • frank.abercrombie.77 - 2012-12-22 00:25

    It is a disturbed society that breeds this type of person: a person who feels that he/she needs to kill so many people. Killing children a terrible crime. This happens often in America. This is the worst example of the decay of a civilization.

      matthew.ferrey - 2012-12-22 06:00

      And therein lies the rub. Correct, Sir.

  • simon.richansen - 2012-12-22 00:51

    Chicken or the egg arguments. And to say all countries that have disarmed have had problems is blatantly false! You can't start an arms race to stop criminals. That makes not sense at all. The Netherlands has hardly any gun crime cause its hard to get a gun here. The only armed people are the police. G

      Ollie - 2012-12-22 00:57

      It seems some in America still think it's the days of the Wild West!

  • chris.summers.3954 - 2012-12-22 00:51

    Instead of restricting guns, how about everyone starts to talk about restricting / helping the nutters?

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-12-22 09:46

      How do you identify the nutters in the US? Where's the evaluation tests before you can become a legal owner? The problem is that applicants are not screened properly and laws for gun-ownership differ from state to state...and how to identify the nutters now after licences were issued left right and right how do you know which ones are outright 'crazy' or unfit to own one or multiple firearms?

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-12-22 02:23

    We protect our mayors with men with guns; we protect our governors with men with guns; we protect the House and the Senate and the President, with men with guns; we protect our courts, our banks, our jewelry stores, our sports arenas, and our pawn shops, all with men with guns. However, our most precious possessions, our children, we protect with a piece of paper and a sign (the Gun Free Zone law). Now, in response to the slaughter of 20 innocents, we propose to punish those (gun owners) who are innocent, and protect our most cherished possession, our children, with a another piece of paper (a new gun law). From Anon

      siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-12-22 05:37

      amen to that bro. that piece of paper wont stop guns from the black market in fact it will make it thrive.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 08:35

      @ramon.allen. A semi-auto rifle is the most effective self defense tool you can have if a single person is attacked by multiple assailants. Semi-auto rifles were banned in Australia after the Tasmanian shooting. What happened? The use of guns in crime INCREASED. Overall violent crime 10 years later was 42% higher... On March 25, 1990, a single deranged man killed 87 people in a New York nightclub with... a can of petrol and a match..

  • hermien.viljoen - 2012-12-22 06:21

    Yeah, and it would be just great for gun and ammo sales too - wouldn't it? But I'm sure they didn't even think about that...

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2012-12-22 07:36

    The facts seem clear to me. One, Lanza's mum was a gun owner, two the guns were available to him, three one of the weapons was a semi-automatic rifle with large capacity magazines, four he used these weapons to murder the children. If the weapons were not available in the first place and were difficult to obtain there is a strong possibility that his mother and these children would still be alive. You cannot legilate aginst all the nut-cases in the world but you can put as much distance between them and firearms and that must be a good thing.

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-12-22 09:38

      Thx - my point exactly: why does ONE person have access to so many guns in the first place, and for what exactly?

      brenton.tyrrell - 2012-12-22 10:48

      Barend Hendrick Strydom only owned one firearm. A pistol. What difference does it make how many guns one has access to. It's like telling a pyromaniac he can only have one box of matches. Criminal intent is what one should be looking out for.

  • harold.pennington.5 - 2012-12-22 08:08

    @Willem - worked really well at Fort Hood (sarcasm btw)- and that's a full on military base. No this is gun insanity at it's best.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 09:01

      All the soldiers on the premises where the Fort Hood shooting took place were unarmed at the time. The attacker was shot by the first person with a firearm to arrive; a policeman. It is standard practice in all military bases that firearms is locked away unless used for training, and ammo only get issued once at the shooting range. Only perimeter guards are armed. Fort Hood is the largest military base in the US, the guards were probably kilometers away.

      harold.pennington.5 - 2012-12-22 11:46

      Willem your argument is weak. Bottom line if the population were armed the damage would be greater - take the movie house shooting. Can you imagine the mayhem if everyone was armed. You seem to assume that the shooter would be correctly identified and then some responsible person would duly shoot him whilst all the others looked on - yeah right! It would be a wild west style shoot out. Look at social brawls if you want anecdotal evidence of how people react when the violence starts.The obsession to be armed to the teeth is based in fear and scared people should not be armed.

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-12-22 12:00

      Name me one actual incident where "everybody shot everybody". It does not exist. The shooting you referred to was in a 'gun free zone'. This latest Newtown incident as well. Obviously THAT does not work.

  • lambertus.louw - 2012-12-22 09:09

    It's interesting how many people react from gut instinct and ignore cold hard facts when it comes to gun violence. Fact, South Africa has a much higher crime rate than the USA. Fact, South Africa has much stricter gun control than the USA. Are these facts related perhaps? Another fact to consider is that Switzerland, one of the most famous neutral countries in the world and arguably one of the safest countries in the world also has the one of the highest levels of legal ownership. Nearly every adult male owns a military assault weapon and has had military training. Some interesting facts that lead to an obvious conclusion. Legal responsible gun owners are the greatest deterrent to criminals with guns. Stricter gun control has nearly everywhere lead to higher levels of crime and in some cases genocide examples being Rwanda, Nazi Germany, Cambodia, need I go on?. Why? Well, has anyone considered how many criminals would willing lay down their arms if stricter gun control measures were enacted? Fact, gun control has only ever disarmed law abiding citizens. Fact, criminals would rather target unarmed victims where they are guaranteed the upper hand than risking their lives against an armed citizen. All the recent cases of shooting sprees in the USA have taken place in so called gun's free zones - the results of misdirected gun control. Think about it.

      simon.richansen - 2012-12-22 10:37

      So it has nothing to do with the economic situation? To say that they have no crime only due to the guns and training is false. The examples given always miss out that most countries that have had an influx of as due to civil war end up with major problems due to unlicensed guns. Take most of South America and Africa for example. You can't treat all countries in the same way.

  • byron.pienaar - 2012-12-22 09:23

    Gun's don't kill people, people kill people. People will use anything to kill another person. Take the guns away in the USA,what a fantastic idea,you will just hear about someone running around screaming Allah is Great...BOOM! Sadly society is at fault at what happened last week,not just guns

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-12-22 09:34

    I own a firearm and do NOT agree with this ridiculous proposal. What is needed is stricter control over the issuing of firearm licences in the first place, and to review every gun-owner's fitness to own a firearm/s, also what the purpose of each firearm is per person. With this I mean that if the owner already has for eg. one firearm for self-defence what would a prospective gun-owner want with an automatic rifle for instance? What would be the merit? It's way too easy to purchase firearms over-the-counter in some of the states there, and no proper evaluations are done before just issuing yet another licence to Joe Blob. IMAGINE the scenario if I went to the SAPS here and requested a licence for an automatic machine-gun 'just to play with'? I would in all likelihood be declared unfit to own ANY firearm. Yet this is LEGAL in the USA, depending on which state you reside in. There are too many automatic weapons for sale over the counter there, with very few and lame questions asked. Evan if you already have one semi-automatic firearm as we have here in SA (legally licenced) you can buy more of the SAME calibre eg. 9mm over there, so now you can have two 9mm semi-automatic guns to 'defend' yourself with? It's totally absurd. And putting armed guards at every corner of a school won't help, if the person is determined the security guard/police officer will just be a small obstacle in the way. And then you need armed police officers at every intersection, shopping mall etc.etc.

  • seath1 - 2012-12-22 09:49

    Can,t they all shoot each other soon and get it done with !!!

  • Styvies.za - 2012-12-22 10:00

    I think the issue that should be looked at shouldn't be about gun control per se but rather around the gun culture that exists in the US. There is a gun culture in SA especially in the Afrikaner community but how often has there been school massacres, of the scale that happens in the US? Sure we have horrific crime stats but how often does a psycho enters a south African school

  • brenton.tyrrell - 2012-12-22 10:11

    There are two pertinent quotes relating to this debate; 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people' and 'If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. It's time for the loony left to stop demonising guns and legal, responsible gun owners. There is always the knee jerk reaction of banning 'assault weapons' when something like this happens. Believe me a pump action shotgun at close quarters is pretty devastating. There is a rumour that Israeli school teachers are armed. Well, whether it is urban legend or not, there are no school massacres there. I don't think it would be a bad idea to have armed guards at schools. Criminals don't care about 'gun free zones', in fact they love them. Soft targets are what they're looking for. Look what happened when gunmen burst into the St James church and started shooting people randomly. One man in the congregation, Charl van Wyk, was armed and effectively saved a number of lives by his defensive action. 'FIGHT CRIME, SHOOT BACK'

  • Omnivore - 2012-12-22 13:00

    Fact: Farmers are some of the most well armed ppl in SA. Much good it does them.

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