At a news conference Friday, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre blamed last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on violent videogames and movies, and said that schools should employ armed guards as an added safety measure to stop "the next Adam Lanza."
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said LaPierre, who is also the organization's top lobbyist.
The real blame for mass killings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary lies with portrayals of violence in the media, including videogames, movies and music videos, according to LaPierre, who cited "vicious" games like Bullet Storm, Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat.
"I mean we have blood-soaked films out there, like American Psycho, Natural Born Killers," LaPierre said. "They're aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day. A thousand music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they portray murder as a way of life. And then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior, and criminal cruelty right into our homes. Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year."
LaPierre's speech, which was the first public statement from the NRA since the Newtown killings, was interrupted by two protesters who held up anti-NRA signs and were eventually removed from the press conference. One shouted "Violence begins with the NRA" as he was led out. LaPierre did not take any questions from media at the news conference.
"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," LaPierre added after one of the interruptions.
LaPierre began his comments by saying that the 4 milion members of the NRA "join the nation in horror, outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime."
After last week's shooting, which killed 20 children and six adults at the school, as well as the gunman and his mother, who was a gun enthusiast, President Barack Obama vowed to reopen the gun control debate and demanded "real action" to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.
LaPierre said Thursday that the NRA is developing a program to propose a school security plan that relies on armed volunteers. The program will be headed by Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former representative from Arkansas.
Watch one of the protesters interrupting the speech below. Do you agree with LaPierre's comments?