NRA's LaPierre Rips "Media Machine" For Blaming Guns In Contentious "Meet The Press" Interview
DAVID GREGORY: You proposed armed guards in school. We'll talk about that in some detail in a moment. You confronted the news media. You blamed Hollywood and the gaming industry. But never once did you concede that guns could actually be part of the problem. Is that a meaningful contribution, Mr. LaPierre, or a dodge?
WAYNE LAPIERRE: David, I said what I honestly thought, and what millions and hundreds of millions of people all over this country believe will actually make a difference. You know, I can't imagine a more horrible tragedy than what happened. We all have five year olds-- in our families in some way. I mean we all put ourselves in that situation, and the tears flow down our eyes.
The N.R.A., made up of all these moms and dads, parents, we have 11,000 police training instructors. We have 80,000 police families. We're four million members. And we sat down and we said, "What we can we do will actually make a difference today to make these kids safe?
DAVID GREGORY: But conceding that guns play any role, that's a meaningful contribution?
WAYNE LAPIERRE: You know, look. I know there's a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens. I know there's an anti-second amendment industry in this country. I know there are political (UNINTEL) for 20 years always try to say it's because Americans own guns.
I'm telling you what I think will make people safe. And what every mom and dad will make them feel better when they drop their kid off at school in January, is if we have a police officer in that school, a good guy, that if some horrible monster tries to do something, they'll be there to protect them.
DAVID GREGORY: All right, we'll talk about that in more specifics. But you're talking about some of the old complaints you make against the news media and such. Nobody's actually said that it's only about guns, so far as I've heard, not the president, not anyone else. But just I'd like to get your reaction to some of the reaction to you on Friday, which a lot of people were frankly shocked by your presentation.
Here was The New York Post, a conservative publication, I don't think part of the media conspiracy you talk about, and there's the headline: "Gun Nut. N.R.A. Loon in Bizarre Rant over Newtown." The Hartford Courant headline says that "The N.R.A.'s response falls flat."
The Congressman from the district of Newtown, Chris Murphy tweeted this: "Walking out of another funeral and was handed the N.R.A. transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement I've ever seen." Just your reaction to that very harsh reaction to your words.
WAYNE LAPIERRE: If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. I'll tell you what the American people-- I think the American people think it's crazy not to do it. It's the one thing that would keep people safe.
And the N.R.A. is going to try to do that. We're going to support an immediate appropriation before Congress to put police officers in every school. And we're going to work with Asa Hutchinson, who has agreed to work with us to put together a voluntary program, drawing on retired military, drawing on retired police, drawing on former Secret Service, and all these people that can actually go in and make our kids safe.