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Having gone dark online for the past week, the National Rifle Association held a press conference today for the first time since last Friday’s Connecticut shooting.

The NRA condemned both the violence and those seeking to use it for political gain, while proposing a solution quite different than many in America have sought.

NRA President David Keene and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre both spoke this morning on behalf of the organization’s four million members.

LaPierre began with condolences to the people of Newtown, Conn., who have “suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.”

“While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. Now, we must speak for the safety of our nation’s children,” he added.

And speak he did. What did the NRA propose? Here’s the main takeaway …


“For all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face.”

“How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?”

“The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them.”

“They post signs advertising them. In doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

“How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order. Think about it?”

“We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. Airports, office buildings, power plants, court houses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.”

“We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. 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.”

“The monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it.”

“The only way – the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection.”

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

“I call on Congress today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.”

Obviously, those on the other side of the gun control debate will lose their mind at the notion that MORE guns in schools will somehow prevent violence.

MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes said moments ago in response that “good guys with guns vs. bad guys with guns is the moral cosmology of a small child.”

That it may be, but is there a better solution? If so, what?

Will an assault weapons ban or any other component of the Obama administration’s effort to curb gun violence in the U.S. actually be effective?

Historically, at least, the American public has been bitterly divided.

Where do you stand on all this? Tell us in the survey below:

Should there be more restrictive gun control laws?