NRA chief Wayne LaPierre walked into the lion's den this morning, and quite literally stuck to his guns, doubling down on his assertion that every school should have an armed guard and refusing to budge on bullet-magazine capacity or gun control legislation. "If it's crazy to call for armed officers in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. I think the American people think it's crazy not to do it. It's the one thing that would keep people safe," said LaPierre. Highlights from his appearance on Meet the Press, via Politico:
- On Joe Biden's review of gun violence: "If it's gun safety, I think the best person to represent the NRA is Congressman Asa Hutchinson on that." But, "if it's a panel that's just going to be made up of a bunch of people that for the last 20 years have been trying to destroy the Second Amendment, I'm not interested in sitting on that panel. The NRA is not going to let people lose the Second Amendment in this country."
- On the NRA's relevance: "Our support is always the American people, decade in and decade out. (It's) about the average guy ... and the average guy in the country values his freedom, doesn't believe the fact he can own a gun is part of the problem."
- On cutting magazine capacity: "We don't think it works and we're not going to support it." When asked by David Gregory if the death toll would have been less if Adam Lanza's clips had fewer bullets, LaPierre responded: "I don't buy your argument for a minute. There are so many different ways he could have done it, there are an endless amount of ways a monster could do it."
- Meanwhile, Hutchinson on armed guards: "I've made it clear that it should not be a mandatory law, that every school has this. There should be local choice, but absolutely, I believe that protecting our children with an armed guard who is trained is an important part of the equation."