Wayne LaPierre’s Sunday Meet the Press interview inspired almost instant criticism the moment the program was aired.
One of the criticism’s leveled at the National Rifle Association’s Chief Executive related to his on-air claim that:
“Most of the media — I know you don’t have armed guards here — but most of the media, when I go around this country, they’re protected by armed guards.”
Easily refuted by a number of journalists on Twitter and elsewhere, the above claim by LaPierre is by no means the only contentious statement he has made over the last few days, the Huffington Post reports.
After a press conference on Friday in which the NRA CEO condemned media bias, video games, and politicans for the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, LaPierre called for armed teachers and security guards in every US school.
But it was LaPierre’s “armed guard” claim that prompted an immediate response from journalists:
Matt Sugam, writer for Sports Net New York, tweeted:
“Guess I’m not ‘most.’ Time to rework my contract RT @jonathanweisman: “Most of the media, they’re protected by armed guards,” Wayne LaPierre.”
Jill Lawrence, freelance journalist at National Journal, USA TODAY, Associated Press and Politics Daily, posted:
“Calling all factcheckers RT @mpoindc LaPierre says that ‘most of the media’ are protected by armed guards. We are?”
Rob Zerwekh, sports writer at WDAF-TV FOX 4 All-Star wrote:
“Wayne LaPierre thinks most of the media is protected by armed guards. It’s true. Our secretary wields the deadliest plastic forks in town.”
Brian Stelter, New York Times reporter, said:
“Untrue. RT @jonathanweisman: ‘Most of the media, they’re protected by armed guards,’ Wayne LaPierre on Meet the Press.”
The rest of the tweets can be read at The Huffington Post.
The NRA has been lampooned in the press ever since LaPierre’s Friday press conference, which was interrupted twice by placard bearing protesters. His proposal of armed guards in US school’s drew the most criticism, Reuters reports.
Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy recently tweeted:
“Walking out of another funeral and was handed the NRA transcript, the most revolting, tone deaf statement I’ve ever seen.”
Likewise, the tabloids have had a field day with LaPierre’s statements. The Daily News dubbed him the “Craziest Man on Earth” in their Saturday front-page headline, while The New York Post christened the NRA executive a “Gun Nut!”
However, some have come out in support of the NRA’s proposals. Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham has said that reinstating the lapsed assault weapons ban would not make America safe. Graham told NBC:
“I own an AR-15. I’ve got it at my house. The question is if you deny me the right to buy another one, have you made America safer? I don’t suggest you take my right to buy an AR-15 away from me because I don’t think it will work, and I do believe better security in schools is a good place to start.”
Meanwhile Senator Charles Schumer of New York and Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have criticized the NRA’s apparent insistence on blaming the Newtown massacre on everything but guns.
Schumer told NBC that a debate about preventing shootings in schools that doesn’t talk about guns “is like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes.”
Despite mounting ridicule in some quarters it’s likely LaPierre — and the NRA — will maintain their militarist stance. As he told Meet the Press host David Gregory today:
“If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it.”