National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre came out of hiding on Friday for the first time since a mass shooting of school children in Connecticut and found himself being interrupted multiple times by protesters who accused his organization of enabling murderers.
LaPierre began his press conference in Washington by suggesting that the slaughter of 20 kids could have been prevented if staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School staff had been armed.
“Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them, they post signs advertising them,” the NRA CEO explained. “And in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
As LaPierre insisted that children were “utterly defenseless” because there were not enough guns in schools, a protester unfurled a large pink sign that completely blocked the camera’s view of the podium. It read: “NRA Killing Our Kids.”
“NRA stop killing our children!” the protester shouted as a security guard dragged him from the room. “It’s the NRA and the assault weapons that are killing our children! Do not arm teachers! We’ve got to end the violence! We’ve got to stop the killing! Stop the killing in our schools, stop the killing in our homes, stop the killing in our streets! The NRA is killing our children! You’ve got to stop the violence and violence begins with the NRA! They are perpetrators of the crimes that are taking place in our schools and on our streets!”
Within minutes, a second protester with the group Code Pink stood up with a sign that said, “NRA: Blood on Your Hands.”
“The NRA has blood on its hands!” the demonstrator yelled, as several security personnel carried her out of the briefing. “Shame on the NRA! Ban assault weapons now!”
After each heckler was removed from the room, LaPierre continued his remarks without acknowledging the protest.
“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters,” he said.
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the
wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?
A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?
Read LaPierre’s entire statement here.
Watch video from CNN, broadcast Dec. 21, 2012.