Gun Owners of America Director Larry Pratt on Sunday called for lawmakers to end gun-free zones at schools instead of "wasting out time" with the "false security" of universal background checks.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden told host Chris Wallace that the argument that background checks wouldn't help stop mass shootings was "absolutely wrong."
"If we look at the Virginia Tech shooting, that was because we had a faulty background check system that that person wasn't caught," she explained. "He should not have had a gun because he had problems with mental illness... People would be alive today if we had these kinds of things in place."
Pratt, however, said that gun safety advocates were "avoiding the reality that we have been moving in the direction that somehow self defense is not valid, that we can somehow protect ourselves by this background check idea."
"I think it's false security that somehow we're going to stop problems, when there's really no way to spot these problems," he insisted. "Some of the most horrendous mass murders that have happened recently -- including the one in Newtown -- would not have been stopped by a background check."
"We're wasting our time going in that direction when we should be talking about doing away with the gun-free zones, which have been so convenient and such a magnate to those who would come and slaughter lots of people knowing that there's going to be nobody that's legally able to defend themselves in these zones."
Pratt added: "In fact, background checks wouldn't have stopped most of these mass murders that have occurred... We got to face the reality that we've got to empower average people, including teachers and other people in schools to be able to defend themselves."
Watch this video from Fox News' Fox News Sunday, broadcast Jan. 13, 2013.