NRA president: Schools should have choice on how to arm
By Ashley Fantz
(CNN) — National Rifle Association President David Keene said Thursday that schools across the country should decide how best to defend students and faculty.
“Some will want police officers there. Others of them will want private security guards,” he said in a CNN interview. “There may be some place they want volunteers to do it. We’re willing to work with everybody on those questions.”
Keene’s interview came nearly a week after NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed media — but did not take questions — and said that all schools in the United States should have armed officers. That is the only way, he said, to prevent another massacre like that at Sandy Hook Elementary, which left 20 children and six adults dead.
On December 21, LaPierre called for armed officers in “every single school” and said that action should be taken before children return to school at the start of the year.
“I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January,” he said.
LaPierre continued, “Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work, and by that I mean armed security.”
On Thursday, Keene took questions about LaPierre’s statements, which were heavily criticized, even by NRA members.
“Whether an individual school wants that kind of protection or doesn’t want that kind of protection is really up to the individual school,” he said. “And when we made that statement, when Wayne LaPierre spoke about a week ago, he suggested that what has to happen, and what should happen, is in every school district, administrators, teachers and parents should sit down and ask what’s needed to protect the students in that school.”
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