NRA head: Gun control advocates ‘exploiting’ Florida tragedy

US & Canada

US & Canada

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre echoes Trump’s plan to arm teachers

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Wayne LaPierre warned of a “socialist wave” in America to take away guns and limit individual freedom

The head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has backed President Donald Trump’s call to arm teachers trained to carry concealed guns.Wayne LaPierre made the remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) following a school shooting that left 17 people dead.”We must immediately harden our schools,” he said.Mr Trump had suggested arming teachers during a listening session on Wednesday and tweeted about it before the speech.

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I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

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….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

End of Twitter post 2 by @realDonaldTrump

Mr Trump also said on Thursday he would push for national background checks for persons with mental health issues, which Mr LaPierre later echoed at the conference. “No one on the prohibited persons list should ever have access to a firearm. No killer. No felon. No drug dealer. And anyone adjudicated as mentally incompetent or dangerous to society should be prevented from getting a gun,” Mr LaPierre said.
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Media captionFlorida shooting: Why the NRA wields so much powerThe annual conference comes a week after alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Survivors of the deadly shooting have renewed calls for stricter gun laws, prompting the activist movement #NeverAgain. Mr LaPierre blamed the FBI for failing to follow up on a tip about Mr Cruz before the 14 February attack as well as “European-style socialists” in the US who are calling for more gun control. “They hate the NRA. They hate the second amendment. They hate individual freedom,” he said.Six radical ways to stop US school shootings
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He added that as “gun-free zones”, schools are easy targets for shooters, suggesting that they would be better equipped if teachers were armed. “Evil walks among us and God help us if we don’t harden our schools and protect our kids,” Mr LaPierre said. Reshaping the new gun debate Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, WashingtonOn the first day of CPAC, the NRA had an uninterrupted hour to offer its response to Parkland – and respond it did. In a one-two punch, Dana Loesch and Wayne LaPierre launched a blistering attack again the mainstream media, the FBI and pro-gun-control Democratic politicians.The media “love mass shootings” because of the ratings, Ms Loesch said. The FBI rank-and-file should rise up against a “corrupt” senior staff that has failed to stop mass shooters, Mr LaPierre railed. Democrats, he said, “hate individual freedom”.The rhetoric may be an effort to reshape a firearm debate that, over the past week, has shifting toward calls for bans on so-called assault weapons and the emergence of Parkland students seeking action on gun-control. The NRA would prefer this to be a conversation about media bias, “European socialist” Democrats and an FBI that has lately become a conservative bogeyman.When it comes to policy proposals, turning schools into “hard targets” with armed teachers and airtight security is the preferred option.The NRA has a vast political war chest and a president who views it as a loyal ally. It has been down this road before – after Columbine, Newtown and other school shootings. The NRA’s work is just beginning.With growing pressure to tackle gun control, Mr Trump hosted families of victims and survivors of mass shootings at the White House on Wednesday.”If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms,” he said, “they could very well end the attack very quickly.”Shortly before Mr LaPierre spoke, the president tweeted his support for the NRA.

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What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018

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