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Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks during a news conference in Washington December 21, 2012. NRA, the powerful U.S. gun rights lobby, went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have armed guards, on a day that Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre with a moment of silence.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Wayne LaPierre, unhinged.
Any doubts that the NRA has been overtaken by paranoid, conspiracy theorists who live in a cartoon world of good guys and bad guys had to be put to rest by the appalling press conference just held by the organization's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.

The upshot, 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut were killed last week because politicians passed gun-free school zone laws that made them sitting ducks and the only solution to prevent more massacres of children is to have—yes, this is really the proposal that the NRA has come up with in the wake of the tragedy—armed guards at every school in the nation.

It would be very difficult to overstate the appalling insensitivity LaPierre showed; the paranoia, the victimhood, the passing of blame onto every other possible entity—Congress, the people who fight the NRA, the video game manufacturers, Hollywood, the medical community. Read the transcript. Here's just a sampling.

LAPIERRE: 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 works?

The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. [...]

LAPIERRE: How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark.

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 ill? The fact is this: That wouldn't even begin to address the much larger, more lethal criminal class—killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation.

LAPIERRE: A child growing up in America today 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 the 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 gun owners. [...]

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

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. [emphasis added]

LaPierre preemptively attacked the media for what he predicted their headlines would be: "'More guns,'” you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything.'" In fact, that's precisely LaPierre's answer to the massacre at Newtown. Turning every school in America into an armed fortress. LaPierre wrote our headlines for us with what even sympathetic listeners are calling a public relations disaster.

The NRA might have just done the one thing necessary for real progress on work on gun violence: exposing to a national audience that, as an organization supposedly representing responsible gun owners, it has completely lost its bearings. This should be the end of the NRA's influence on the coming debate. It should, but only if the national media continues to react to LaPierre's national meltdown with the shock it showed in its immediate response on twitter. LaPierre gets more attention from the Very Serious People this Sunday, when David Gregory gives him the national microphone.

Meanwhile,

The 78 and counting Americans who've been shot and killed since Sandy Hook: http://t.co/...
@mattyglesias via Tweetbot for Mac

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:18 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Shut Down the NRA.

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