Local School Board Members Disagree With NRA Suggestion Of Armed Campuses

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said the NRA's Wayne LaPierre.

In a Friday morning press conference in Washington, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

Mt. Diablo Unified School District board member Brian Lawrence disagreed with LaPierre's suggestion.

"My reaction is, we need to stop bad guys from having guns, especially military style assault rifles," Lawrence said in an email to Patch.

Lynne Dennler, another member of the MDUSD board, said the NRA recommendation was disappointing.

"Sadly, the NRA continues to place their personal interest in guns over the good of the whole.  What thinking person would suggest the answer to our problems with weapons, be more weapons?," Dennler said in an email to Patch. "Who is able to possess guns today, if not 'the good guys?' This seems to indicate that it is fine with NRA present thinking, that some guns are in the hands of those who should not possess them. It is disheartening that the NRA can't come to terms with the truth that not everyone should own a gun, especially a semiautomatic weapon, that has no use other than to kill people."

Denise Elsken, a member of the Martinez Unified School District board, said having armed guards sends the wrong message to children.

"Of all of the memories of your childhood and school, were any of them walking past an armed, uniformed guard?," Elsken asked in an email to Patch. "Having traveled in numerous countries where we have seen 'armed guards,' I can tell you that it does not make you feel very safe. In fact, it would be a reminder to children five days a week of the fact that they could be shot and killed at school that day. Is this beneficial to our children?"

She called the NRA statement and "selfish and unwarranted position that assault rifles should be legal."

She added she is not against banning all firearms, saying hunters should be able to own rifles and other weapons and homeowners should be able to protect their property with a firearm.

"However, I do not believe anyone but trained soldiers and police officers should have rapid fire assault weapons," she said.

In Connecticut, Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown parent, coach and resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys'."

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Chris Nicholson December 22, 2012 at 06:55 PM
No one's arguments are strengthened or weakened based on cards they may or may not carry. I think instant background checks are fine-- even at gun shows. I think waiting periods are OK for your first gun of a given type, but silly for your third pistol or fourth rifle. Linda: maybe consider solid logic instead of compound appeal to authority with a straw man twist in your arguments. I know a guy with a Ph.D who is a member of the Brady anti-gun group who thinks we should ban images of guns in movies and video games, so we shouldn't take seriously anything they say.
Linda Meza December 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Chris: I cannot divorce my emotions from my logic, not this time. I had a hard time after Virginia Tech, a really hard time after Aurora CO, but this is beyond incomprehensible. I took offense when then candidate Obama was caught in a candid moment talking about middle American's clinging to their guns and religion but after watching the way comments devolve at the mere mention of gun control, I am finding myself agreeing with at least part of that statement.
Chris J Kapsalis December 22, 2012 at 09:11 PM
@Chris N. We can show guns on tv, even murder, but not a womans breast or hear a cuss word. I would understand way more if guns were seen as obscene and parts of the human body were not. You can show life taking, but not love making or life making. Crazy mixed up world we live in imo. Not to mention there is more restrictions on weed than on guns that can kill people.
Chris Nicholson December 22, 2012 at 09:38 PM
@Linda: as long as you acknowledge that the reforms you seek won't do any good (other than smugness and false security), then I celebrate your freedom to make decisions in whatever manner you choose. I guess I would just suggest that if you want to reduce someone else's freedom for irrational and emotional reasons, you might at least point your (metaphorical) shotgun in the direction of the "center mass" of the problem and not the skinny tip of the beast's long tail. Translation: to reduce gun deaths, you ought to focus (in this order) on (i) suicide intervention/prevention, (ii) factors that cause young black men to murder each other with simple handguns, (iii) better background checks and (iv) mental health issues. If you care about the safety of your children, efforts to outlaw so-called assault rifles will have the same impact as placing garlic cloves under the bed to repel boogeymen.
Linda Meza December 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM
If even a portion of the charges asserted in the following article from Salon are true, then I stand by my initial response. I was that softly spoken "no" last time out of sheer hopelessness, not now, not this time. As for (iii) take that up with LaPierre, apparently he's not much of a fan... http://www.salon.com/2012/07/23/nra_a_lobby_for_criminals/ NRA: A lobby for criminals "We’ve read the sickening script before. Following virtually every mass shooting in the United States, the news media focuses briefly on the question of whether anything can be done to prevent such incidents in the future. Soon, a softly spoken “no” infiltrates the coverage, either out of sheer hopelessness or the certain knowledge that our elected officials are so firmly in the thrall of the gun lobby that they quiver in fear at the mere thought of contemplating even tepid measures advanced by gun control advocates in the wake of the latest atrocity. If the aftermath of Aurora (12 dead, 58 wounded) plays out as others of recent or fading memory — Tuscaloosa, two weeks ago (18 wounded), Tucson in 2011 (six dead, 14 wounded), Binghamton in 2009 (13 dead, four wounded), Ft. Hood also in 2009 (13 dead, 29 wounded), Virginia Tech in 2007 (32 dead, 17 wounded), Northern Illinois University in 2008 (five dead, 21 wounded), Columbine in 1999 (12 dead, 21 wounded), etc. — the role of the National Rifle Association will be lightly brushed over, then dismissed."
Frank December 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM
another irrationale rant. Please try to lend some common sense and objectivity to the discussion. Your irrationale rant to my last post is a good example of why the discussion goes no where. I am sure the Connecticut shooters mother used the same rationalizations for not getting much needed help for her child.
Frank December 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM
The NRA had no connection to any of those. Once again, your behavior is just like the nazis of the 1930's looking for a scapegoat. You identu=ify a group to scapegoat and then proceed with irrationale arguments.
Linda Meza December 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Try reading the article Frank. Or is blind obeisance an NRA membership requirement?
Frank December 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Both you and Mglaze are wrong. The current background checks used in this country were actually first proposed by the NRA. so Mr Glaze starts out as either a liar or totally ignorant of the history of the organizrion of which he claims to be a member..
Frank December 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Linda their are no obedience requirements for being a member of the NRA, just to be an independent thinking person not easily swayed by propaganda. The article is nonsense feeding on emotions rather than intellect.
Frank December 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM
You can't separate the swastika waving from the attempt by extremeists to politicize this tragedy and look for a scapegoat.
Linda Meza December 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Fact-Checking the NRA Press Conference http://news.yahoo.com/fact-checking-nra-press-conference-185542748.html "The proposals and opinions offered by the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre at a press conference Friday have been roundly criticized by gun control opponents already, but is he also wrong about the bare facts? While many of the gun lobby's latest claims about armed security are debatable, and LaPierre's pop-culture references — Mortal Kombat? American Psycho? — are out-of-date enough to be easily debunked, there were a handful of actual factual assertions in his speech today that we decided to double check just to see if the NRA's talking points match up with reality. Here's what we found on some of key statements."
Chris Nicholson December 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Yawn. Attacking the NRA does not strengthen the baseless arguments for additional band on guns and accessories. On the other hand, universal instant background checks, no matter what the NRA says, are a good idea. Why the obsession with attacking the straw man of the NRA?
Tom Sponsler December 23, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Posting armed guards at schools is a great idea! Especially if we have the schools surrounded with barbed wire and the "good guy shooter" stationed at the entrance. Of course this will deter potential mass shooters so we had better do the same thing for: day care centers little league games swimming competitions YMCAs JJCs churches synagogues movie theaters shopping malls 4th of July parades any place where people gather!
Tom Sponsler December 23, 2012 at 01:10 AM
This is a brillant idea, especially if we surround all schools with barbed wire fences and post the "good guy shooter" at the entrance! I bet that would deter shooters! Of course it would probably a good idea to do the same for day care centers little league games swim meets churches synagogues YMCAs JCCs shopping centers movies theaters And any other place where kids congregate. Barbed wire and marksmen!!!
Chris J Kapsalis December 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM
What about less than lethal defensive weapons like bear spray or other ways to disable an intruder or attacker? I was thinking of some ways you could disable an attacker without a gun fight breaking out in a school room or arming teachers. So the NRA guy is wrong. A bean bag shotgun could work. We could develop better ways. A semi auto bean bag bazooka type weapon. If trained, teachers and staff could have access to these less than lethal weapons. And there are other less than lethal ways to defend yourself. I have Bear Spray for hiking and camping. And it says not to be used on humans. But would anyone fault me if I choose that and not a gun to defend my home from an armed intruder? I also have a pitch fork, and I am not too worried about an armed intruder. I like less than lethal. Think outside the box a little, or outside the gun.
Chris Nicholson December 23, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Chris: Get back in the box. No cop (or teacher) is going to want confront an armed and crazed intruder with bear spray or a bean bag round. Those lesser-lethality options are only used with bad guns without guns. If menacing bad guy has a gun, you want to KILL him ASAP and only later discuss his tragic childhood and how society failed him, not go through a force escalation protocol.... For home defense, you have a better point (but still not vis-a-vis bear spray). Many people keep a 12 Gauge "rubber bullet" as the first round loaded. If bad guy seems unarmed but potentially violent, he first gets a 12 Gauge rubber bullet to the gut, which will hopefully chill him out. If he appears armed, then rubber round gets ejected on the floor unfired with a quick pump and he gets #00 buck (or .45 ACP JHP).
Linda Meza December 23, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Chris, because, the NRA leadership has been the single biggest obstructionist organization in getting anything meaningful passed. I wanted stronger background checks, that included a way to preclude those who have been deemed unstable, after the CO massacre. But a determined voice of the NRA living in Reno indicated in no uncertain terms he had tons of money and was unafraid of spending it to bankrupt municipalities who even sneezed in the direction of increased gun safety laws. I heard all of the rationales then. Then as the Salon story indicated it would, the storyline dimmed in peoples minds and we went about our daily lives. Why speak out against the NRA? Because until the 74% (according to pollster Frank Luntz) of the membership that actually believes in increased gun safety laws and common sense restrictions stands up and is counted instead of allowing LaPierre to continue his feckless obstructionist tactics, then the body is culpable and needs to be accountable.
KAC December 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Wayne LaPierre is simply a lobbyist looking out for the gun manufacturers. He doesn't give a damn about the American public.
Chris J Kapsalis December 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Even the military is developing more effeciant and effective less than lethal alternitives, alwasy has really, and it is not just to not kill. It is also to keep them alive for trial, and information. Also even military and police fear cross fire. I have heard many instances of 30 rounds being fired and only one or two hitting the target, and this is form hhighly trained people. When your in a gun battle sometimes it is chaos, and people blast away without taking aim sometimes. In a school this could mean hitting kids or teachers by mistake when they are shotting at the armed intruder. Makes sense. They even have sound and other means. You know when a person takes a bullet they can go on for a few secinds more, or minutes, and contiue killing. If we could develope less than lethal that completly disable the perpatrator quicker, why not? I would only use a gun if I was backed up in a room and no way out and someone had a gun. There are ways to increase your odds on suviving an attack. Ithink it would be a good idea to teach this, even for life, what to do if a gun is seen or drawn on you or shots are fired.
MIKE ALFORD December 23, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Well The Real truth Is As Simple As Being An AMERICAN !!! ----------- Pure Fact The Secound Admendmet Gives Us The Right To Protect Our Freedoms & Our Lives ! ---- Fact is The First Admendment Gives Us Ereedom Of Speach ! (Now I Will Go Real Slow So Linda Can Keep Up) Without The Secound ADMENDMENT We Couldnt HAVE The FIRST or OUR FREEDOM ! Now Will Someone Please EXPLAIN This To Linda (Real Slow,Rear Real Slow) Maybe She Will Get IT !!!!!
Tom Sponsler December 23, 2012 at 03:12 AM
The most outrageous violation of our second amendment rights is the practice of not allowing us to bring our guns on airplanes. And the resulting violence on airplanes is well known to all of us. Think of how horrible it would be if there no guns in civilian society!!
Jed December 23, 2012 at 03:30 AM
I ALWAYS take my weapons on an airplane... MY OWN airplane. I REFUSE to fly airlines with political puppets like TSA "screening" passengers -- the freak show of perverts frisking little girls and young boys...
Jed December 23, 2012 at 03:31 AM
YOU, MIKE, ARE SO "RIGHT ON" !! Why is it these tiny-brained "victims" will never see this?
Jed December 23, 2012 at 03:32 AM
MIKE ALFORD December 23, 2012 at 08:06 AM
I Was Just Going Through the statments this Thread is about Taking care of our children and protecting them and any of our citizens from these Monsters These REAL nut cases That are out There Right Now ! OUR Right To Protect Ourselfs and we SHOULD ALWAYS Have that right If Your Life is Being Threatend YOU HAVE THE RIGHT To Protect Yourself and it is up to you shoot that wack - job before they kill you !---- But as I read through this Thread I See that Linda Is Some what Confused (AGANE) She Writes Grow A Womb,Give Birth ? She Is On The Wrong Thread ! She Needs To Be On A (G.Y.N.) Thread But She Probley Over Medicated herself (Agane) See If She Doesnt Have A Web Site to Refer Well She Goes Right to the Gender Card ! She Doesnt Respect The Fathers (Men) Who Lost Their Children Also ! But Than Again This A Thread About Armed Campuses ! She Has relationship problems with Men so you can see why Shes A Little Off Tract ! Stick To The Subject Linda !!!!
MIKE ALFORD December 24, 2012 at 02:03 AM
you we were having some REAL comments on a very importent Subject from a lot of people about The Orgional subject ----- But As usual Whoever runs this Patch ? Linda Meza Comes In With Her off the Wall Gender (Man Hate) comments And something About Growing A Womb ???? What The Hell Does This Have To Do With The Subject YOU put up ??? How Does This Work ? Other People Have Been Asking Me All Day WHY Does She Get To Do This and Get away With IT ? Keep Letting Her Do This And people Will Quit Patching -- You Know When I would Do Something wrong -- JIM --- Would Let Us Know And Get back on the Subject at Hand
Linda Meza December 24, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Frank it was your choice to insert the emotionally evocative images of Auschwitz and Rwanda while fanning the fears of MIBs hunting down law abiding citizens and confiscating their lawful weapons. I merely matched said emotionally evocative imagery with my own.
Frank December 24, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Linda...the images are emotionally evocative because they were real events not simply a figment of your imagination. Those events were caused by people like you who look for scapegoats and react without any real thought.
David Mills (Editor) December 24, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Hello, folks... thanks for your comments on this important issue. It appears everyone has had a chance to voice their opinion, so we are closing off comments on this story.


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