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Should Woodinville Schools Follow NRA Call for Armed Security Around Schools?

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said.

In a Friday morning press conference in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following the horrific shooting of 26 people at a school in Newtown, CT 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."

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

LaPierre's speech was a call to supporters to mobilize around a new vision of American domestic security, at a time when voices for gun control are steadily rising. On Friday morning before the press conference, President Obama released a video (above) citing a petition by hundreds of Americans calling for swift action.

At the grassroots level, groups like Newtown United, a group of Newtown neighbors, are working to address major issues related to the tragedy, including gun control, violent media, mental health and legislation.

Newtown locals responded to the NRA press conference. Suzy DeYoung, a Newtown resident for nine years who has three children, said LaPierre's speech 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, CT 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."

LaPierre also lamented violence in video games, music videos and "blood-soaked" films. But his central solution seemed to be a great mobilization of gun-carrying "good guys," a term he used repeatedly but did not define, who might be more present and respond more quickly than police.

"If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," LaPierre said. "And that security is only available with properly trained, armed 'good guys'."

LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protesters who held signs in front of TV cameras, made a direct call for local action.

"I call on every parent. I call on every teacher. I call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country, to join with us and help create a national schools shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that’s tested and proven to work," he said.

LaPierre did not take questions from reporters, and did not acknowledge the protesters.

Woodinvile police made a concerted effort last week to visit schools in the area in reponse to the Newtown killings. Northshore School District Superintendent Larry Francois sent a letter to parents last week and said this about school safety:

Student safety is a top priority and Northshore School District has worked in conjunction with local emergency responders to develop extensive and thorough school safety plans that address a full-range of emergency situations. These plans are updated annually and our schools regularly practice emergency drills to ensure that we are prepared. An important way you can help support student safety is by following standard school safety protocols when visiting or dropping off or picking up your child.

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D), who represents Woodinville in Washington's new First District, tweeted: "Disappointed by NRA’s comments today. Guns do not have a place in our schools." 

What do you think? Should there be a local surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around Woodinville schools? Tell us in comments.

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R.U. Cerius December 22, 2012 at 04:02 AM
What about bowling alleys, laundry mats or the supermarket? Off-duty cops there too? Yes, we will all be so much safer with the retired bus driver 'good guy' guarding us with his trusty .45 ... He's shot a few rounds through it at the range so I'm sure he is ready to engage in violent, chaotic urban combat at any moment.
long time Woodinville resident December 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Thinking like that is exactly why no one is available to stop violence now. So what do you propose? The people who do harm to others are not listening to you when you sayit is not nice to hurt people. They don't care! They don't think like ratonale people. So what do you want us to do? Sit back and be willing to watch people get hurt or killed because you think it is silly to try to protect people? Your unwillingness to stop violent people is why we have so many killings now. Have you ever helped defend some one? I have. I am just an average person not willing to watch others get hurt. Since it is so difficult to get the mentally ill help, we have to be willing to step up and stop violence. Guns are not the problem - out of controll people are. It is time for all of us to wake up and see what the real problem is. Banning my gun is not the answer.
DebbieKat December 23, 2012 at 04:37 AM
"Since it is so difficult to get the mentally ill help" - Perhaps we can start here... Again, no one is calling for BANNING guns. We are talking about removing loopholes where people can go to a gun show and purchase without a background check, we're talking about an assault weapons ban. Do you really need to have an assault weapon as an individual? What's wrong with a shotgun?

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