In its first response to the Newtown massacre, America's largest pro-gun lobby group offered its solution to deaths in the classroom: armed police officers in every school. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Mr LaPierre said.
Just hours after church bells across the country tolled 26 times in remembrance of the 20 children and six adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, the head of the NRA took to the podium to blame the media for demonising gun owners and disregarding the "callous and corrupt shadow industry that sells violence against its own people through vicious, violent video games".
The press, he insisted, was perpetuating "the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed".
Interrupted twice by protesters, Mr LaPierre spoke in terms that might find favour with the hardcore of the NRA's 4.3 million-strong membership.
Just 24 hours after US President Barack Obama ordered a task force to come up with ways to reform the nation's gun-control laws, Mr LaPierre made his own plea – that Congress "act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary" to put armed guards in schools.
As Mr LaPierre was winding up his address, news began to filter through about another shooting in Altoona, Pennsylvania, that left four people dead and two State Troopers injured. For the anti-gun lobby this would be further proof that there are too many guns on the streets of America. But, no doubt, Mr LaPierre would have felt his call to arms was justified. (© Independent News Service)