The NRA made its first official statement since the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school that killed twenty children and six adults.
The NRA's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre did not answer questions but told reporters that the US government should find the money to put a police officer in every single school to protect the students.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said.
"Is the press and the political class here in Washington, DC so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and American gun owners, that you’re willing to accept a world ... where a school principal is left to surrender her life to shield those children in her care?" he asked rhetorically. “No one … has the right to impose that sacrifice.”
Gun law proponents including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately pounced on the remarks, calling them a "shameless evasion of the crisis facing our country," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"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," he said. "Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics."
Bloomberg said earlier this week that he hopes the tragedy would be a turning point in the debate around gun control. Staunch gun rights advocates have remained largely silent since the NRA statement but some pro-NRA Republicans have spoken out against the call for more guns.
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called the NRA's remarks "very haunting and very disturbing," according to CNN.
"I don't even know where to begin," Steele said on MSNBC. "As a supporter of the Second Amendment and a supporter of the NRA, even though I'm not a member of the NRA, I just found it very haunting and very disturbing that our country now that are talking about arming our teachers and our principals in classrooms. I do not believe that's where the American people want to go."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that having armed guards at school entrances was not "conducive to a positive learning environment," reports the Bergen Record.
“In general I don’t think that the solution to safety in schools is putting an armed guard because for it to be really effective in my view, from a law enforcement perspective, you have to have an armed guard at every classroom,” Christie said.
“Because if you just have an armed guard at the front door then what if this guy had gone around to the side door? There’s many doors in and out of schools.”
According to CNN, President Barack Obama said earlier this week that the administration will develop recommendations no later than January for preventing another tragedy like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.