By: Kaylee Karumanchi, Opinions Section Editor
On December 14th, Adam Lanza, a mentally deranged man, killed twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. While the country mourned the loss of these lives, the focus shifted onto gun control in the United States. It was found that Lanza had used guns that were owned and registered by his mother. Though his mother was aware of his various mental issues, Adam Lanza still had access to these guns and was even trained to use firearms. The fact that Lanza’s guns were his mother’s emphasized the lack of weapons’ control in the United States, causing President Obama to call for new gun control legislation. The National Rifle Association wouldn’t have any of that, though.
The National Rifle Association or the NRA, a lobbying group that advocates for American citizens’ Second Amendment rights – the right to bear arms, scheduled a press conference to voice their opinion. At the conference, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, announced that the NRA wants armed security guards at every school in the country to protect students. Ever stubborn, the NRA held onto their strong convictions that guns had nothing to do with the shooting in Newtown. Instead, they blamed violence in films, video games, and the media for the recent mass shootings. LaPierre asserted that the only thing that stops a criminal with a gun is “a good guy with a gun.” LaPierre stated that the lives of the people lost in Sandy Hook Elementary School would have been saved if there had been armed security guards.
The NRA’s answer was typical of a lobbying group. People protested that LaPierre was incredibly insensitive; however, his response was not unusual for a man that represents a group who serves only one purpose – to assist gun manufacturers in selling guns. In fact, placing armed guards in schools all over the country would cost approximately $18 billion dollars, some of which would undoubtedly be due to the cost of weapons. LaPierre attempted to mask his true motivations with talk of how people can’t hope to outlaw evil and that the population should be able to defend themselves against such monstrous people as Lanza. However, LaPierre’s reasoning for as to why we need more guns and armed guards fell short. At the infamous Columbine High School massacre, a similar incident to the Sandy Hook shooting, there was an armed deputy sheriff on duty, yet twelve students and a teacher were still murdered. We should still give LaPierre some credit, as he was right about one thing. LaPierre angrily asked if “anybody really believe[d] that the next Adam Lanza [wasn’t] planning his attack?” His question had a lot of foresight, as at the time of LaPierre’s speech, another armed man killed four people and injured three state troopers – armed state troopers. If things continue on in LaPierre’s and the NRA’s way, there will be more attacks, as the next Adam Lanza will have a really easy time getting his hands on a weapon.