Politics
The National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre pauses as he makes a statement during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting, on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) The National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre pauses as he makes a statement during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting, on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)  

In first press event since Sandy Hook shootings, NRA slams Obama, media

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The National Rifle Association pushed back hard Friday against efforts by the White House and the media to use the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn. massacre to advance progressives’ gun-control agenda.

Congress needs to help states and local government fund armed-guards at schools through the nation, NRA officials said during a press-event in Washington D.C.

“Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol police officers, yet when it come to our most beloved innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predator of the world know it and exploit it,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president.

The’s NRA’s membership of “four million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, join the nation in horror,” LaPierre said. “While some have some tried to exploit the tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent,” he said.

LaPierre also slammed the news media for inaccurate reporting, and attacked the entertainment industry for spurring violence with gore-filled videos, music, movies and video games.

“We have blood-soaked films out there, like ‘American Psycho,’ ‘Natural Born Killers,’ that are aired like propaganda loops,” he said.

“A thousand music-videos … portray life as joke and portray murder as way of life and the [industry leaders] all have the nerve to call it entertainment. But isn’t that what it really is … really the filthiest form of porn?

“In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with each other to shock, debase and violate every standard known to society,” he added.

The NRA’s pushback came in response to an increasingly aggressive effort by the White House to fuel calls for tighter gun control with public horror at the murders.

On Friday morning, President Barack Obama continued the strategy.

“20 beautiful children & 6 remarkable adults. Together, we will carry on & make our country worthy of their memory,” Obama tweeted out under his name.

The tweet included a hashtag to generate more public support for gun control, but also for a broadening agenda related to “mental health,” education and culture.

“We need 2 act on all: weapons of war; violent culture. Mental health,” said a tweet Friday morning from Obama’s chief political strategy, David Axelrod.

That agenda could include fairly controversial but narrow measures related to forced treatment of aggressive and disturbed youth who have not committed any crimes.

But such mental health-related measures quickly blur into far more controversial culture-related policies favored by the administration, such as federal “anti-bullying” measures intended to regulate schoolyards and children’s social lives in order to aid groups favored by Democrats.

Those groups include teenagers who say they are gay, as well as immigrants holding beliefs sharply different from long-time citizens. (RELATED: White House bullying project vehicle for progressive agenda, say critics)

Obama has established a task force to recommend a broad set of action in January. Run by Vice President Joe Biden, it will include top officials from education, justice and health agencies.

A broad agenda will spur opposition from conservatives, small-government advocates, libertarians and business interests. (RELATED: Obama sees Newtown massacre as call for broad government action)

The commercial interests include the movie and music industries, which have been repeatedly blamed for spurring violence, especially among African-American youth.

However, there’s little evidence that the White House will try to curbs its allies, such as Hollywood, and much evidence that it will use regulation to help its allies, such as the mental-health industry, anti-gun groups, gays’ advocacy groups, and feminists’ groups that have championed laws regulating spousal behavior related to domestic violence.

The favorable regulation could provide more money for these groups, new rules to spur lawsuits against targets, and new curbs on their opponents.

Gun-rights groups argue that school officials should be allowed to bring self-defense weapons to work. But in several jurisdictions, including the state of Minnesota, Democratic politicians have promised to take new steps to bar guns from schools.

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