NRA Stands its Ground on Gun Control

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 23 2012 5:22 PM

NRA Head: Gun Control Won’t “Make Any Kid Safer”

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National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre attends the NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot in Las Vegas last year

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A little more than a week after a lone gunman massacred 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., National Rifle Association leaders went on Sunday talk shows to essentially say that the United States doesn’t need any new regulation on guns. Even though a “media machine” loves to blame the gun industry for gun crimes, “a gun is a tool. The problem is the criminal,” NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said. “I know this town wants to argue about gun control,” LaPierre said on NBC, but he insisted that the assault weapons ban currently being proposed by some Democratic lawmakers is a “phony piece of legislation” that is “built on lies” and isn’t “going to make any kid safer,” reports the Washington Post. LaPierre also reiterated the NRA's proposal to put armed guards in schools: “If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,” LaPierre said. (Watch a clip from the interview after the jump.)

LaPierre also seemed to roundly dismiss the idea of participating in a White House task force led by Vice President Joe Biden that is examining how to reduce gun violence. If the panel is “just going to be made up of a bunch of people that, for the last 20 years, have been trying to destroy the Second Amendment, I’m not interested in sitting on that panel,” LaPierre said. He wasn’t alone. NRA President David Keene and former Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who was tasked to lead the program that would train security guards, also took to the news shows Sunday to make it clear the pro-gun group opposed any gun restrictions currently under discussion, notes the New York Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.