Home National Politics Jim Moran: NRA Press Conference “appalling,” “galling,” an “overreach” that “may well...

Jim Moran: NRA Press Conference “appalling,” “galling,” an “overreach” that “may well backfire”


Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th, VA) responds to the NRA press conference a little while ago, calling it “appalling,” “galling,” and an “overreach” that “may well backfire on them as the public reviews Mr. LaPierre’s statements.” Let’s hope.

The NRA’s press conference was appalling. Even more firearms are not the solution to reducing gun violence.

“Preventing gun-related massacres, like what occurred at Virginia Tech and in Newtown, Connecticut, requires a comprehensive approach that includes tackling mental health issues, looking at ways to better secure our schools, and changing our culture of violence. But perhaps more importantly, it means tackling the gun epidemic in this country with sensible gun safety reforms. The NRA attempted to completely shirk their responsibility to that key piece of this puzzle. It was galling, and an overreach, and it may well backfire on them as the public reviews Mr. LaPierre’s statements.”

A few more thoughts: “Any doubts that the NRA has been overtaken by paranoid, conspiracy theorists who live in a cartoon world of good guys and bad guys had to be put to rest by the appalling press conference just held by the organization’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre…It would be very difficult to overstate the appalling insensitivity LaPierre showed; the paranoia, the victimhood, the passing of blame onto every other possible entity-Congress, the people who fight the NRA, the video game manufacturers, Hollywood, the medical community.”


    Washington, DC-During a tense and sometimes surreal press conference in Washington today, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre took no responsibility for the tragedy in Newtown and other recent mass shootings committed by heavily (and often legally) armed gunmen. Instead, LaPierre blamed such violence on the media, the “political class,” mentally ill Americans, the music industry, the film industry, video games, the Obama administration, gun violence prevention activists, and others.

    This is familiar rhetoric from an organization with direct ties to the gun industry and a financial stake in promoting the indiscriminate sale of firearms. Gun industry executives like Pete Brownell and Ronnie Barrett sit directly on the NRA Board of Directors and the organization receives millions of dollars in direct corporate contributions each year from firearms manufacturers through its “Ring of Freedom” program.

    It is therefore obvious why LaPierre has little interest in de-escalating the level of gun violence we are seeing. Proposals to limit access to military-style firearms would negatively affect the NRA’s bottom line, and that is why he scoffed at those “wasting precious time debating legislation” in our Congress and elsewhere. Rather, LaPierre fell back on the tired rhetoric of “mores gun are the answer,” which has been categorically rejected by the American people.

    Additionally, LaPierre’s statement calling for a “national mental health database” is completely insensitive and vilifies millions of Americans, the vast majority of who will be never be violent. The focus instead should be on the narrow group of people who are a danger to themselves and others, to make sure they are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Mental health and public health professionals-not the National Rifle Association-are the ones who should be taking the lead in debating the important reforms that are required in this area.

    The solution to protecting our children is not to place them in the middle of shootouts between “good guys” and “bad guys.” The goal of this policy discussion should be to prevent the first shot from ever being fired. That can be addressed by enacting comprehensive reforms to keep military-style firearms off our streets and ensure that every gun sale involves a thorough background check.

    We are a society awash in military-style firepower, which can be purchased with little or no screening in states across America. It is now apparent that we will never receive positive contributions on how to solve this problem from the organization whose lobbying has created it. The matter is now in the hands of the millions of Americans across this country who want meaningful reform of our nation’s gun laws.

  • Quizzical

    I don’t totally reject out of hand the idea police officers assigned to schools.  The Resource Officers at Fairfax County public schools seem to fill a useful function, including speaking at drivers ed meetings.  

    Still, the idea of having sufficient armed security at every school to stop a potential mass shooting doesn’t seem practical.  How many officers would it take per school?  

    I would think at least two.  Most schools are very large buildings, with many points of entry (especially for someone willing to force entry). So let’s assume two per school minimum.

    Fairfax County has 196 schools and centers.


    Let’s assume the average annual cost of a police officer, including all benefits, is $50,000 per year.

    That would mean that to put two officers per school and center in Fairfax County would cost about $19,600,000 per year, just for enhanced security.  

    In contrast, let’s assume a ban and mandatory buy-back and melt-down of semi-automatic weapons of every kind, at an average depreciated cost of $100.00 each.  How many weapons could be taken out of circulation for $19,600,000? That would be 196,000.

    Of course, Virginia law currently prohibits that kind of buy back.  Thanks to the NRA, the weapons have to be resold through an authorized dealer, and are only disposed of if no one wants to buy them.