Newtown Parent: NRA 'Playing to People's Fears'

During a press conference Friday, the NRA laid out a proposal that included installing armed security officials in every U.S. school.


Asked for a reaction to Friday’s statement from the NRA that on-site armed security officials should be installed in every American school by next month, a grassroots organization out of Newtown said its core mission remains unchanged.

“Newtown United stands with the children, the teachers, the community, and the families touched by the massacre of innocent lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14,” Rob Cox, a spokesperson for Newtown United, told Patch in an email. 

“We are united with the country to drive national efforts to turn the tide on gun violence,” Cox continued. “We are dedicated to ensuring the senseless act of violence that occurred in Newtown is never repeated.”

The National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people last week in Sandy Hook and called for a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

The statements came about 90 minutes after Newtown and much of the nation observed a moment of silence for the 20 schoolchildren and six adults killed during the Dec. 14 shooting. It also came at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

LaPierre also railed against violent video games, accusing the media of selling "violence against its own people" through violent video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. He did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Suzy DeYoung, a parent coach and Newtown resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre was playing to people’s fears.

“People are much smarter than this,” DeYoung said. “He is saying we need to be protected from guns by more guns. This lack of logic speaks for itself, and I truly believe the response you are abut to see from parents all around the world will offer better commentary than I ever could."

Joanna Zachos, a mother in Sandy Hook, said that while she supports an increase in gun control and personally does not believe in guns at all, that the larger problem goes "way beyond that."

"The problem we have is our immunity to violence as a society as a whole," she said. "Violent video games, violent movies, addiction to horror films. We've developed immunity to violence and violent images."

Zachos said she worried about taking her children to the mall during Halloween because they'd be exposed to troubling images. And she said that after Friday's shooting, she’d be even more careful.

"Going forward, I feel i'm going to have ask people, 'Do you have a gun?' before we go for a playdate," she said.

"We have police to protect this community,” she said. “If someone wants to keep something, one small thing that will make them feel safe, that's their prerogative. But there's no need for semi-automatic weapons at home. None. Absolutely none."

Patch Editor John Ness contributed to this report.

Ted Riegel December 21, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Absolutely disgusting. Just what we need, more guns in schools. I guarantee the NRA loses thousands of members in the next few weeks. Ban semi-automatic weapons, multiple round clips, private gun show sales, and spend more on mental health issues. I hate to say this but if Mr. LaPierre lost a child in one of these mass killings he'd be singing a different tune. Oh, by the way, he had six guards with him at his speech (not a news conference, didn't take any questions).
Jlo December 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM
He's got a point though, we guard everything else we care about. Most high schools and colleges have armed security or police. I'm in a doctorate program and we also have armed guards on campus 24 hours a day. If nothing else it will make any potential gunman think twice because they no longer have the peace of mind knowing that their targets wont be shooting back and that they will be able to escape or die a painless death at their own hand. Now these measures obviously need to be incorporated with better background checks and an increased focus on prevention via better mental health services. We can't let the lanza's, holmes, and ramsey's of the world slip through the cracks anymore.
rita avery December 21, 2012 at 08:06 PM
You would also need armed guards on every school bus. How about churches, they are vulnerable also. Guess every playground in the USA also, Disney World will need at least a platoon of armed guards, and on and on and on!
Ward Davol December 21, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I am a responsible gun owner who owns a few shotguns for hunting and target practice and a few pistols for target shooting. It is sad that what was once a great organization, the NRA, has become a right wing lobbyist's tool. When it was started their mission was to promote responsible gun ownership, and to teach marksmanship and safe hunting skills; they've fallen a long way from that pinacle. It is callous that Mr LaPierre did not so much as mention the banning of assault weapons. Who needs to own that type of gun except someone with malice aforethought. If someone wants to own an assault weapon for a collection, it should be rendered inoperable. God bless Newtown, and may their wounds one day heal.
RickK December 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
We have communities in America where the majority of the households ("good guys") own guns. Many inner-city neighborhoods have greater than 50% household gun ownership. States like Alaska, Montana and Wyoming have greater than 50% ownership. So, looking at the homicide (criminal and homicide) stats from inner cities and looking at the suicide stats for AK, WY and MT, do we think the "more guns" model is working? It's simple physics. The fewer handguns and removable-magazine rifles within America's borders, the fewer kids get shot - at home or at school. Don't believe me? Google the "Harvard Injury Control Research Center" for several surveys of studies showing a simple fact: More guns = more homicide Yes, we must fix the social factors if we want to reduce the number of children killed by their own hands or by others. But we must also address a huge factor in those deaths: guns.
michael pope December 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM
i think the focus should center on the mothers, nancy lanzas, inept parenting and oversight of her son, the video games that desensitized the fragile mind of a depressed and obviously disturbed mind, the school systems inability to identify teens and young adults that could benefit from serious mental health counseling and an american society that "protects" the rights of every type of individual at the expense of the most at risk- It is mental health and identifying the disturbed people capable of such harm that would have prevented this as well as a parent that was truly aware of her own sons danger and had an ability to find help. He tried to buy his own gun at Dicks three days prior and was turned down, the existing regulations worked .
Mark Schultz December 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM
if this guy was really concerned about "monsters," he'd close down the loophole for unregulated gun shows! he should have said, 'this is a huge tragedy and we are responsible gun owners, and we'll work with the president to find practical solutions.'
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I believe the root problem is due to the public schools. They are the ones that teach the kids to call a toll free abuse line or 911 if parents "abuse" them. Now verbal abuse is a problem. How can parents exact discipline if the schools undercut their authority?
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM
They've cut down physical education and sports. The kids have do much energy. Don't forget these kids are never disciplined at home. So, what to do? Sedate and drug them with Ritalin, Zoloft, and Lexapro. Know side
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Known side-effects: violence and suicide in teenagers. The medical records of 60% of recent school shooters show treatment for ADD, ADHD, leading to depression. The other 40% are sealed due to their ages. Schools undermining parents; psychiatrists pushing drugs for newly minted disorders; drug companies pushing drugs to fix unproven imbalances in vulnerable young brains.
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM
It's about money, yes. But it is more about deviating from traditional child rearing and this Liberal, Politically Correct agenda that educators are at the fore front of that is at the root of the problem.
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM
And parents buy into this garbage willingly!
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Mr Devol, your rights exist because of the NRA. I was a younger hunter, like you and lobbied within the NRA to compromise on sensible gun laws. Unknown to most gun owners, there was a bill in Congress that nearly came out of committee to ban ask firearms that hold more than 6 cartridges, our could be modified to do that. Almost every, lever gun, auto pistol,
Chow mein December 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Or .22 rimfire rifle would have been banned. The nuts in Congress were ready to make every gun owner who didn't turn in their evil guns into a felon. That's why the NRA is firm, that's how Charlton Heston got elected president of the NRA.
MIKE TRUPPO January 21, 2013 at 09:36 PM
BRAVO DAVO L, Many of my friends are gun owners who are like you.I live in jersey and hope we can get sensible legislation BUTTT-How do we fight the nra's money.Can we back (with money) non nra candidates.That's a tough one. john lott (no capitals)had the audacity to say this is the WAR OF THE CENTURY Really--who is he declaring war on ? US ?
MIKE TRUPPO January 21, 2013 at 09:41 PM
GET A LIFE CHOW MEIN. Are you the next lanza ?
Ronaldus Magnus May 03, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Just when you thought that the NRA couldn't get any nuttier......................... The new president of the NRA is a good ol’ Southern boy, who sounds even crazier than the group’s gun-nut mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre. Alabama lawyer Jim Porter has called U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American” and proudly spews the Confederate line on the Civil War. In a June speech, Porter noted the NRA was “started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my Southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ ” “Now y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ down South,” Porter said to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. He also advocates training all U.S. civilians to use standard military firearms so “they’re ready to fight tyranny.” Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/nutty-new-nra-president-jim-porter-war-guns-article-1.1333864#ixzz2SFuRvDhz
Thomas Paine May 03, 2013 at 07:25 PM
First, Jlo man, where you been? Second, I suspect Magnus that you are also the person behind "David Duke", another of the Sybil-like multiple screen personalities controlled by a single person? Early on this post: http://wilton.patch.com/blog_posts/gun-restrictions-abortion-low-information-voters David Duke 5 hours ago new face of the NRA, Wow, if it wasn't so sad, it would be hilarious. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/nutty-new-nra-president-jim-porter-war-guns-article-1.1333864 =============================== Seems way to coincidental that you "Magnus" would come back to a post from December to post the same thing that "David Duke" posted as a non-sequitor on my most recent post. Sure, it could be so but your lacking a comment history and Mr. Duke being part of a wider manipulation of Patch discussions makes me go hmmmmmmm.
Thomas Paine May 03, 2013 at 07:25 PM
onaldus Magnus - The Daily News writer (and you by extension) clearly do not know too many folks different from you or from southern states. There are plenty of things AG Holder has done that I find un-American and millions of Americans agree with that view. Is it not "un-American" to illegally funnel high-powered firearms into a neighboring country and let them fall into the hands of drug cartels who are seeking to destablize the government of our southern neighbor and allie? Is it not un-American to ignore incontrovertible video evidence of voter intimidation? Is asking such questions "nutty"? As for the comments on the formation of the NRA and the Civil War - those are sentiments and opinions held by millions of folks who live in states that were part of the Confederacy. Down south, it IS called the "War of Northern Aggression" - why is that nutty? As for the so “they’re ready to fight tyranny”, you might be shocked (Northeasterner) to find that Americans nation-wide are increasingly loosing their trust in the US government and are worried about tyranny, in some cases more worried than they are about their personal risk to terrorism. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/multiple-polls-americans-are-more-afraid-of-the-government-than-terrorists.html Dude, when pluralities are worried about the same concepts, that is not nutty, it is an emerging conventional wisdom, except, of course, you are one of those unthinking types like the NYDN writer.


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