Jewish Leaders Slam NRA Plan for More Guns

Blast Pro-Gun Group for 'Outrageous' Newtown Response

More Guns: National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre speaks on the one-week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Getty Images
More Guns: National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre speaks on the one-week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

By Reuters/Seth Berkman

Published December 21, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The powerful gun rights lobby went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have armed guards, on a day that Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre with a moment of silence.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, noting that banks and airports are patrolled by armed guards, while schools typically are not.

His remarks - in which he charged that the news media and violent video games shared blame for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history - were twice interrupted by protesters who unfurled signs and shouted “stop the killing.”

Speaking in Washington, LaPierre urged lawmakers to station armed police officers in all schools by the time students return from the Christmas break in January. LaPierre did not take questions from reporters.

Response from the Jewish community was swift and critical of LaPierre’s statements. “It was outrageous, I must say, even for them,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly. Schonfeld said the NRA’s statement contained a “total absence of any sense of the common good or moral responsibility.”

“Judaism is very clear in that you don’t provide weapons to people who are likely to harm you,” Schonfeld added.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement that said, “The NRA’s Washington leadership has long been out of step with its members, and never has that been so apparent as this morning. Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country. Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”

Congressman Jerrold Nadler called the NRA’s response to the Newtown shootings as, “both ludicrous and insulting,” and called the NRA “fundamentally out of step with the American people on the issue of gun violence.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center, also condemned the response and dismissed laying blame on violent video games as a root cause of increased violence. “Yes, there’s far too much violence in our entertainment, and it corrodes our children’s souls, and we have to change tha,t and religious communities can be helpful,” Saperstein said. “But in scores of other nations who see the same films, play the same video games, they don’t got take their mother’s legally acquired Bushmaster rifle and walk into schools and shoot people. The difference between those countries and ours is the availability of weapons.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.