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The National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre gestures as he speaks about the violent online video game "Kindergarten Killers" during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington. The NRA broke its silence Friday on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead. (AP)
The National Rifle Association on Friday called on Congress to act immediately to place armed police officers in every school by the time students return to class in January.
Publicly addressing the media for the first time since last week's horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the question is "how do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?"
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre told reporters at a news conference. "Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away, or a minute away?"
LaPierre said Congress must appropriate whatever funding is necessary to put armed security in every school in the country before students return from the holidays, and before "we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else."
"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 and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys," he said.
He excoriated politicians "pass laws for gun-free school zones" and "issue press releases bragging about them."
"In doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk," he said.
LaPierre also blamed the media as "silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators" when it comes to gun violence, saying there is a "national media machine" that gives wall-to-wall coverage of those who embark on violent shooting rampages and that "sells and sows violence against its own people" in the form of violent video games and blood-filled films. He showed one such video game titled "Kindergarten Killers."
"It's been online for 10 years," LaPierre said. "How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?"
The news conference was twice interrupted by protesters who held banners and shouted that the NRA had blood on its hands.
"The NRA is killing our children!" one protester shouted. "They are the perpetrators of the crimes that are taking place in our schools and on our streets!"
This post has been updated.