CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday and said gun control is not the answer.
CEO Wayne LaPierre said, "The only way to protect from a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun."
The NRA took aim at a number of factors they believe are contributing to mass violence: video games, movies, and the media. But the 4-million-member organization is also saying: don't blame the guns.
As the world witnessed more young victims of the Connecticut tragedy laid to rest, LaPierre implored the President and Congress to provide the means of putting armed police officers in every school in the country.
"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," he stated.
The NRA position has enraged some, while others refuse to dismiss the idea out of hand. Many schools, including Cleveland Hill in Cheektowaga, already have armed police officers on their campuses. They are known as resource officers. But Superintendent Jon MacSwan points out, resources officers are not there for security.
"Sometimes we refer to them as 'reality counselors' who will sit down and talk to students about some of the issues they may be facing here in school, or outside of school," MacSawn said. "Sometimes that is a little bit more impactful, talking to a uniformed police officer who they have been able to gain the trust of, build a relationship with."
Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack provides many of those resource officers for schools in his town but wonders if stopping mass violence in schools might just send the killing somewhere else.
"The reality is, I am not certain we would still see an effect. We have seen these type of incidents play out in movie theatres, in shopping centers. So the issue is far greater than just a school resource officer, a police officer in a school," Chief Zack said.
Those leading the renewed push for gun control in Congress pointed out there were armed police officers at Columbine but two heavily armed teenagers still murdered 12 people, and wounded another 21, before taking their own lives.
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