Only more guns will curb gun violence in the US, the National Rifle Association says.
A defiant U.S. gun group, the National Rifle Association, has brushed aside calls for tougher gun laws in the wake of the Connecticut school killings, suggesting instead a programme that will see “good guys with guns counter bad guys with guns.”
The NRA, a powerful gun lobby group, stated its position after the massacre that killed 27 people including 20 children aged between six and seven at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The killings by Adam Lanza, 20, has stirred renewed debates about gun laws, a touchy subject that often rips the U.S. along partisan and social lines.
President Barack Obama has pledged to deploy all the powers his office has to tighten gun laws to curtail a streak of gun violence that have occurred multiple times in the last four years.
Mr. Obama has said he would support reinstating an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, and would back other control measures on high-capacity ammunition clips.
Vice-President Joe Biden is to lead the response.
The NRA position, given at a media briefing on Friday, marking a week since the incident, came as Americans observed a minute silence across the country in honour of the victims of the attack.
But while the group joined in expressing shock at the shootings, it blamed every other factor except loose gun laws for the crime.
Wayne Lapierre, the Chief Executive Officer of the NRA, criticized the government for refusing to provide security for American schools, and for not attending to the mentally-ill.
A decline in the prosecution of violent gun criminals was also fueling more attacks, the group said. The NRA also blamed violence-themed video games and music videos, and the media for “misleading” the people with “falsehoods” about guns, and the prospect of tackling violence with more laws.
“A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders, and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18,” Mr. Lapierre read from a prepared text. “And, throughout it all, too many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.”
Then, he added scathingly: “Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws, and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action, and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
The NRA said police security and volunteers should be stationed at each school across the U.S., and offered to roll-out a programme that will oversee the implementation of that proposal.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he emphasized.