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Making Our Nation's School Children Safer

Saturday, June 1, 2013

By Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President

To understand the current state of the gun-ban crowd’s “conversation” about destroying the Second Amendment, it boils down to this: insanity versus sanity.

With the horrific series of mass murders culminating in the cold-blooded killing of children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December, this latest iteration of “gun control” is entirely directed at making the sane pay the price for unthinkable acts committed by the insane. It is the root of the civil disarmament movement in America today.

The Sandy Hook rampage was the evil work of an individual who was clearly insane. There is no question. Adam Lanza, according to reports, had been planning his attack on children—the most innocent among us—for years. 

Reportedly, he considered himself in competition with other mass killers around the world and scored his own planned massacre against their records of slaughter. In his obsession with murder, he logged and researched those killing sprees in preparation for his own.

But Lanza was not in a class of one.

The July 20, 2012 murder of 12 and wounding of 70 midnight movie patrons in Aurora, Colo., was committed by a person who was under psychiatric care at the college he attended. His psychiatrist had reported to campus police that he had homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the public, according to court documents. Insane? There is no question.

The Tucson, Ariz., murder of six people and wounding of 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, in January 2011 was the work of an insane, deeply disturbed individual, Jared Lee Loughner, whose own parents feared his behavior. Insane? There is no doubt.

But for the evil acts of these and other deranged killers, all of the sane people in America are supposed to pay the price with the loss of our freedom.

On its face, that very concept is, well, insane. And the gun-banners know it. They cynically exploit these tragedies and their elite media enablers amplify what they, too, know to be a big lie: that, somehow, homicidal maniacs are going to be stopped through legislation, as if you can legislate morality, or sanity, for that matter.

Vice President Joe Biden—President Barack Obama’s personal czar for “gun control”—is demanding all sorts of concessions of personal liberty from millions of peaceable Americans when it comes to the Second Amendment. Proposals run from bans on high-capacity magazines, to bans on all manner of semi-automatic firearms, to their massive de facto registration scheme under the guise of “universal background checks,” which Biden threatens “is just the beginning” of forcing their radical agenda.

All of this comes with the Sandy Hook school massacre cynically used as a rationale to chip away at Americans’ liberty.

In late January, NBC headlined its coverage of a Biden meeting with gun-ban Senate Democrats with this: "Biden: New gun controls likely won’t end shootings" and quoted Obama’s official gun-ban czar as saying, “Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting. …”

So what on earth is all this push for massive new gun controls on innocent citizens about? In a March 31 diatribe against the NRA, The Boston Globe let the cat out of the bag:

“The National Rifle Association has been heartened by the chance to isolate Loughner and Lanza from the rest of the gun owning universe; reports of their bizarre behavior seem to put them in a class by themselves.”

Got that? The “rest of the gun owning universe”—you and me, our friends and families—are deemed as guilty as the insane killers, just because we own guns. 

Although the Globe admits, “The unfortunate truth is that none of the gun control proposals on the table would necessarily have stopped Lanza  or Loughner. For gun control supporters, there is no point in denying it,” it goes on to say:

“But this is hardly a reason to stop pushing for tighter gun laws… Gun control is a cause in itself. …”

And that is insane.

But I’ll tell you what is sane: providing on-the-scene school security to confront immediate threats to our nation’s kids.

That was NRA’s goal when we enlisted former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson to lead a multi-faceted task force to comb the nation for the best measures to heighten school security—immediate steps to make children safer. We fully funded the study, but gave him total independence. The result is the National School Shield Program. 

In creating a wide-ranging series of recommendations, his team of experts in virtually every field of public safety has created a flexible blueprint for local communities to consider and adopt. The 225-page study is designed to help school decision makers create and maintain adequate security in their schools. One option among the many suggested is the training of armed and certified personnel on campus to provide rapid response to threats presented by the likes of the Sandy Hook murderer.

Describing the diverse nature of the program, Hutchison, formerly a U.S. prosecutor, head of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and assistant secretary of Homeland Security, said, “Every school and community is different, but this model security plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique situation, whether it’s a large urban school ... a small rural school, or anything in-between.”

During Rep. Hutchinson’s National School Shield presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, d.c., Mark Mattioli, whose 6-year-old son, James, was among those murdered at Sandy Hook, made a courageous appearance and implored school officials across the nation to act: “I’m putting it on you, I’m putting it on the experts out there to do something with these recommendations, to implement solutions, so people don’t have to go through what I’m going through.”

As NRA members, we have an obligation to Mr. Mattioli, and to his son and others who have lost their lives in school violence and to youngsters who need future protection, to make sure that our schools consider all that is offered in The National School Shield Program. Contact your local school officials and direct them to our website at www.NRAschoolshield.com for expert guidance on how to actually make our nation’s school children and America safer.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.