The NRA emerged today after a week of silence regarding the Newtown, Conn. shootings, leaving many of those still grieving wishing that the organization hadn't bothered to say anything at all. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre held a press conference in which he argued that the solution to ending gun violence like that in Newtown, Conn. last week is to "put armed police officers in every school" immediately.
With a staggering lack of self-awareness, LaPierre blamed public shootings on "genuine monsters" (without questioning how easy it is for these "monsters" to get access to guns), laying the blame squarely on the entertainment industry and the media, whose aim, he said is to "violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year." He said:
"And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. 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?"
"Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they 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?"
Although many politicians are, in fact, calling for the exploration of a link between violent crime and violence in video games and movies, it is part of a larger conversation framed around gun control--which includes analyzing access to guns and reexamining attitudes towards mental health as well--a conversation that LaPierre is not interested in engaging in. "There'll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive action," he said. That action, according to LaPierre, is arming schools with more guns.