NRA Chief: Navy Yard Lacked “Good Guys With Guns”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 22 2013 1:36 PM

NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre on Navy Yard Shooting: “There Weren’t Enough Good Guys With Guns”

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National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre blasted the renewed focus on gun control following last week’s Navy Yard shooting, saying the issue was much larger than that. Indeed, he said the bigger problems are obvious but there is an “elite” obsession with firearms. "The whole country ... knows the problem was there weren't enough good guys with guns," LaPierre said on NBC's Meet the Press. “When the good guys with guns got there, it stopped.” The real problem, LaPierre argued, is that “the mental health situation in the country is in complete breakdown.”

Instead of focusing so much on firearms, the country’s politicians need to look at how to improve the mental health system in the country and their outrage “ought to be placed on an unprotected naval base,” LaPierre said. He added that the N.R.A. wants “layers of security around our military bases,” adding that it’s ridiculous there are so many “brave men and women” who are trained in firearms but are “largely disarmed on our military bases.” People like the Navy Yard shooter “need to be committed,” he added.

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.

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