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The massacre last week at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. has sparked a national debate on guns and gun control.
This morning, the National Rifle Association (NRA) made its first public statement after the shootings in Newtown.
For your reference, a live-blog from NPR is here which has a good round-up of what was said.
NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre's summarized his speech by saying "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
And so, in a speech that detailed no new changes and allowed no questions by the press, the NRA called for an armed officer in every school.
The conference did not go smoothly. At different points in LaPierre's speech, two protestors stood up and held signs blocking the podium's view. One sign read "NRA Killing Our Kids," while another read "NRA Blood On Your Hands."
After the protesters were removed, LaPierre proceeded like they never occurred.
Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy called it "The most revolting, tone deaf statement I've ever seen." He represents the district that encompasses Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Walking out of another funeral and was handed the NRA transcript. The most revolting, tone deaf statement I've ever seen.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 21, 2012
Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement after the speech, saying:
“The NRA appears unwilling to come to the table in a realistic way to help us stop mass slaughter of innocent children. They seem to think the only way to address gun violence is with more guns, namely more guns in our kids’ schools. And as a mother, I know that’s not the answer.”
But the NRA isn't the only organization calling for more guns in schools. St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch appeared on St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday to advocate training and arming teachers in schools. And more than two dozen Missouri lawmakers are backing legislation that would allow teachers and administrators with concealed gun permits to carry weapons in schools.
On a conference call on Wednesday, Republican Senator Roy Blunt disagreed with that sentiment. "I don't think we should rush to the conclusion that more people with guns in school is the solution to this," he said.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel
- See more stories on politics and policy from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.