It took a lot of nerve this morning for the head of the National Rifle Association to call for armed guards in every school across the United States just one week after the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Militarizing our country's schools is an extreme overreaction and not the answer to countering the killing.
During NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre's press conference, he disrespected the victims, blamed everyone but the gun culture and completely ignored the fact that there needs to be a wider discussion on how to prevent gun violence altogether, along with a need to improve care for mentally ill people like gunman Adam Lanza.
With all the funding cuts to education, LaPierre's idea to post armed guards at every school is unattainable and ludicrous. On top of that, schools are already capable of hiring guards to protect students. Further, it's not at all clear whether an armed guard posted at Sandy Hook would have been able to stop Lanza, who entered the school with a military-style weapon and high-capacity clip.
An armed guard was on duty during the 1999 shooting at Colorado's Columbine High School, but 12 students and a teacher were still gunned down by a pair of young men who were clearly disturbed.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said in a defiant rant that took aim at the influence of violent video games, how the news media allegedly "demonizes" gun owners and complacency by the federal government. Sorry to burst LaPierre's bubble, but stopping guns with more guns doesn't make us safer.
Not once did LaPierre discuss the need to balance firearm policy with Second Amendment protections for the sake of improving public safety. President Barack Obama has taken the right first step by appointing Vice President Joe Biden to oversee renewed efforts to end gun violence. Obama's call for action must be followed up quickly - and intelligently - to effectively end the senseless killing.
-- Opinion staff