At 9:30 a.m. this morning, people across the country observed a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown school shooting. The time marked exactly one week since the gunman marched into the school and began ending innocent lives. Children who'd arrived that morning ready to learn. Educators who'd dedicated their lives to teaching and bettering those lives.
Today we finally heard the nation's large gun organization weigh in on the matter. The NRA's moment of silence had lasted all week, and the words they chose to break that silence with were all too familiar.
The organization's leader, Wayne LaPierre, blamed the massacre on everything under the sun. He blamed the "politicians [who] pass laws for gun-free school zones" and the "vicious, violent video games" children play and the "blood-soaked films" and "music videos" they watch. He even blamed the media who "demonize lawful gun owners." He failed to put any blame on Adam Lanza, or entertain the idea that the day might have turned out differently if he hadn't had access to such a powerful gun.
According to LaPierre, "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He apparently couldn't fathom the idea of trying to keep that high-powered gun out of his hands to begin with.
His solution? More guns. More people with guns, in places where we want to learn. "We need to have every school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work," he said. "And by that, I mean armed security."
Unfortunately armed security is not always enough. Columbine High School had armed guards. Kids still died.
We've heard this kind of talk for years. It's not a solution to the gun violence we see. Chicagoans know that all too well. Their town has seen an epidemic of shootings just this year.
As Rev. Al Sharpton said on tonight's PoliticsNation, "It's not just in Chicago, or in Newtown. Since 1979, more than 116,000 children and teenagers have been killed by guns. We can't listen to any more of this nonsense from the NRA. The time for their talk is over. Now's the time for action, and real change on gun control."