WASHINGTON — An unwavering National Rifle Association said Sunday that not a single new gun regulation would make children safer, that "a media machine" relishes blaming the gun industry for each new attack like the one that occurred at a Connecticut elementary school, and that a White House task force on gun violence may try to undermine the Second Amendment.
"Look, a gun is a tool. The problem is the criminal," said Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the nation's largest gun-rights lobby, in a nationally broadcast television interview.
LaPierre hardly backed down from his comments Friday, when the NRA broke its weeklong silence on the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
LaPierre's assertion that guns and police officers in all schools are what will stop the next killer drew widespread scorn, and even some NRA supporters in Congress are publicly disagreeing with the proposal. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called it "the most revolting, tone deaf statement I've ever seen." A headline from the New York Post summarized LaPierre's initial presentation before reporters with the headline: "Gun Nut! NRA loon in bizarre rant over Newtown."
LaPierre told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that only those armed guards and police would make kids safe.
"If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," LaPierre said. "I think the American people think it's crazy not to do it. It's the one thing that would keep people safe."
He asked Congress for money to put a police officer in every school. He also said the NRA would coordinate a national effort to put former military and police officers in schools as volunteer guards.
The NRA leader dismissed efforts to revive the assault weapons ban as a "phony piece of legislation" that's built on lies. He made clear it was highly unlikely that the NRA could support any new gun regulations.