This is the full NRA text.
Wayne Lapierre, CEO & Ex. V.P:
Out of respect for those
grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from
comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have
remained respectfully silent.
Now, we must speak … for
the safety of our nation's children. Because for all the noise and anger
directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most
important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our
children right now, starting today, in a way that we know
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the
Politicians pass laws for
Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post
signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell
every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict
maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
How have our nation's
priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money,
so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings,
power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed
We care about the
President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of
Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police
Yet when it comes to the
most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our
children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and
predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change
The truth is that our
society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so
deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane
person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does
anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a
school he's already identified at this very moment?
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
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
And the fact is, that
wouldn't even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class:
Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in
every community in this country. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have
decreased by 40 percent — to the lowest levels in a
So now, due to a declining
willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again
for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some
other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national
nightmare of violence and victimization.
And here's another dirty
little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this
country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows,
violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent
video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and
Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been
online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of
yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found
Then there’s the
blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers"
that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a
thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life.
And then they have the nerve to call it
But is that what it really
is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the
filthiest form of pornography?
In a race to the bottom,
media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every
standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless
behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of
every month of every year.
A child growing up in
America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or
she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
And throughout it all, too
many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders …
act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their
own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries
for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest
thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next
atrocity is only a news cycle away.
The media call
semi-automatic firearms "machine guns" — they claim these civilian
semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223
round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers ... when all of these claims
are factually untrue. They don't know what they're talking
Worse, they perpetuate the
dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful,
lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have
As brave, heroic and
self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt,
professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they
were unable — through no fault of their own — to stop
As parents, we do
everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume
responsibility for their safety at school.
The only way to stop a
monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a
plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a
good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call
bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away ... or a minute
Now, I can imagine the
shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow morning: "More guns," you'll claim,
"are the NRA's answer to everything!" Your implication will be that guns are
evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. But since when did
the word "gun" automatically become a bad word?
A gun in the hands of a
Secret Service agent protecting the President isn't a bad word. A gun in the
hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn't a bad word. And when you
hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won't be
able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast
So why is the idea of a gun
good when it's used to protect our President or our country or our police, but
bad when it's used to protect our children in their
They're our kids. They're
our responsibility. And it's not just our duty to protect them — it's our right
to protect them.
You know, five years ago,
after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in
every school, the media called me crazy. But what if, when Adam Lanza started
shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been
confronted by qualified, armed security?
Will you at least admit
it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so
abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the
Is the press and political
class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America’s
gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil
monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to
shield the children in her care? No one — regardless of personal political
prejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.
Ladies and gentlemen, there
is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. But do
know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year's
budget, and scrapped "Secure Our Schools" policing grants in next year's
With all the foreign aid,
with all the money in the federal budget, we can’t afford to put a police
officer in every school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business —
and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to
protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.
Now, the National Rifle
Association knows that there are millions of qualified active and retired
police; active, reserve and retired military; security professionals; certified
firefighters and rescue personnel; and an extraordinary corps of patriotic,
trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in
devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our
kids now. We can immediately make America's schools safer — relying on the brave
men and women of America’s police force.
The budget of our local
police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication
and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right
I call on Congress today to
act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police
officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety
is in place when our children return to school in
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.
Right now, today, every
school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school
administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource
available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every
school will have a different solution based on its own unique
Every school in America
needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to
put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle
Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security
personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to
Our training programs are
the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to
protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation's defense
industries and military installations during World War II, and we'll do it for
our schools today.
The NRA is going to bring
all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National
School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From
armed security to building design and access control to information technology
to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by
the very best experts in their fields.
Former Congressman Asa
Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School
Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task
requires. His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of
the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland
Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most
knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program
up and running from the first day forward.
If we truly cherish our
kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest
level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a
properly trained — armed — good guy.
Under Asa’s leadership, our
team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for
protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to
every school in America free of charge.
That's a plan of action
that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the
safety of our children —starting right now.
There'll be time for talk
and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive
We can't wait for the next
unspeakable crime to happen before we act. We can't lose precious time debating
legislation that won’t work. We mustn't allow politics or personal prejudice to
We must act
For the sake of the safety
of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school
administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in
the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line
of positive defense that's tested and proven to
And now, to tell you more
about the program, I'd like to introduce the head of that effort — a former U.S.
congressman, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and
former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Honorable
Thank you, Wayne. One of
the first responsibilities I learned at Homeland Security was the importance of
protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure, and there is nothing more
critical to our nation’s well being than our children’s safety. They are this
country’s future and her most
We all understand that our
children should be safe in school, but it is also essential that the parents
have confidence in that safety. As a result of the tragedy in Newtown,
Connecticut, that confidence has been shattered. Assurance of school safety must
be restored with a sense of urgency.
That is why I am grateful
that the NRA has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our
schools, parents and communities. I took this assignment on one condition: That
my team of experts will be independent and will be guided solely by what are the
best security solutions for the safety of our children while at
Even though we are just
starting this process, I envision this initiative will have two key elements:
First, it would be based on a model security plan — a comprehensive strategy for
school security based on the latest, most up-to-date technical information from
the foremost experts in their fields.
This model security plan
will serve as a template — a set of best practices, principles and guidelines
that every school in America can tweak, if needed, and tailor to their own set
Every school and community
is different, but this model security plan will allow every school to choose
among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their
own unique situation, whether it's a large urban school, a small rural school or
anything in between.
Armed, trained, qualified
school security personnel will be one element of that plan, but by no means the
only element. If a school decides for whatever reason that it doesn't want or
need armed security personnel, that of course is a decision to be made by
parents at the local level.
The second point I want to
make is that this will be a program that doesn't depend on massive funding from
local authorities or the federal government. Instead, it'll make use of local
volunteers serving in their own communities.
In my home state of
Arkansas, my son was a volunteer with a local group called "Watchdog Dads," who
volunteer their time at schools to patrol playgrounds and provide a measure of
Whether they're retired
police, retired military or rescue personnel, I think there are people in every
community in this country, who would be happy to serve, if only someone asked
them and gave them the training and certification to do
The National Rifle
Association is the natural, obvious choice to sponsor this program. Their gun
safety, marksmanship and hunter education programs have set the standard for
well over a century. Over the past 25 years, their Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program
has taught over 26 million kids that real guns aren't toys and, today, child gun
accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded.
School safety is a complex
issue with no simple, single solution.
But I believe trained,
qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the
first line of deterrence as well as the last line of defense. And I welcome the
opportunity to serve in this vital, potentially lifesaving
Thank you very