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NRA Calls For Armed Security In Wake Of Newtown Shootings

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Speaking for the first time since the Sandy Hook shooting, the National Rifle Association on Friday called for armed security at every school in the country.

NRA officials said they wants Congress to set aside money to get police officers into schools by next month, when students head back to class after the winter break.

It's part of a program the NRA is launching called the "National School Shield Safety Program", which the organization hopes will be seen as a model.

"What if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday he'd been confronted by qualified armed security?" said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA. "Twenty-six innocent lives might have been spared that day."

"Armed, trained, qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan but by no means the only element," added former Congressman Asa Hutchinson.

While the NRA's response focused mainly on school security, they also suggested creating a national database for the mentally ill and took aim at the video game industry, and also blamed Hollywood and music videos for contributing to a violent culture.

"Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?" he said.

LaPierre blamed the media for the latest rash of gun violence, saying it rewards criminals with the attention they crave.

"Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us where 20 thousand other laws have failed," LaPierre said.

Protestors interrupted the NRA's news conference more than once.

Two people from the anti-war group Code Pink held signs that read "NRA is killing our kids."

They were escorted out by security.

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Officials Criticize NRA's Comments


Politicians in the city and other parts of the country were critical of the NRA's first public comments since last Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the NRA, calling its leaders grossly out of step.

In a statement, the mayor said, "Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe. Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA's lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence."

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn later issued an even more strongly worded statement, accusing the NRA of adding more pain and heartache to the families who lost loved ones.

"Their remarks are some of the most stupid, asinine, insensitive, ridiculous comments I have ever heard made in the public arena," the statement read.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he expected some viable recommendations from the organization, or at least a move towards a real conversation about gun control.

He balked at the idea of having more armed officers at schools, saying he supports the mayor's agenda, especially when it comes to assault weapons.

"I think the assault weapons ban is sort of a no-brainer," he said. "You don't need assault weapons, as so many people have said, to hunt. You don't need extended round magazines. I think all of these things don't really impact of the rights of people to bear arms, on the rights of people to do recreational shooting or to hunt."

Kelly said school safety officers work hand in hand with the New York City Police Department to keep students and teachers safe.

He also touted gun buyback programs for getting over 8,000 guns off the streets.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew is also unhappy with the NRA's comments.

He told NY1 the "ideological lobbying" by the NRA has done enough damage and "it's time for common sense to prevail."

He also said the NRA's call for armed guards in every school is not the way to go.

"I think if you follow that logic down the path, then everybody in society should be walking around with a gun, and that just is absurd," he said.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal called the NRA's announcement a missed opportunity that falls far short of a truly comprehensive solution.

"The NRA has declined to step forward as a credible and constructive partner," Blumenthal said.

Meantime, after a week of national calls for tougher gun laws, President Barack Obama said the demands are not falling on deaf ears.

The president posted a video online in response to petitions signed by nearly 400,000
people.

More Funerals Held For Newtown Shooting Victims


A moment of silence was observed in the city and across the nation Friday morning to remember the 26 victims of last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The moment of silence was held at 9:30 a.m.

Governor Dan Malloy asked churches to ring their bells 26 times, one in honor of each victim at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

More funerals also took place Friday.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan was in Katonah Thursday at services for Teacher Anne Marie Murphy.

He likened her to Jesus, because she gave her life trying to protect her students.

Her body was found shielding a group of children.

The mother of the shooter was also laid to rest Thursday.

Nancy Lanza was buried in New Hampshire.

She was shot at home before the gunman went on his rampage.

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