The National Rifle Association, which has asked Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson to lead a study on armed guards in public schools, said Thursday (Jan. 10) that the White House task force on gun violence is nothing more than an “attack on the Second Amendment.”
After December's Newtown, Conn., school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults, President Barack Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden to come up with a broad range of ideas to curb the nation's gun violence. Obama wants Biden to deliver policy proposals by the end of the month and Obama has vowed to move swiftly on the package, which is expected to include legislative proposals and executive action.
Also on Thursday, a 16-year-old student at Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., used a shotgun to fire at two students. The shooter was eventually convinced to put down his weapon and was taken into custody. One student hit by the shooter was in critical but stable condition.
On Thursday, Biden met with sportsman’s rights groups, gun ownership groups and several retailer, including officials with Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart, which is the largest retailer of guns in the U.S., has said it has for many years worked toward responsible gun ownership.
“We became a charter member of Mayor Bloomberg’s coalition against illegal guns and adopted the 10-point code established by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership that goes beyond what the law require,” spokesman David Tovar said in a statement released Wednesday.
Wal-Mart declined to comment on it’s involvement in Thursday’s meeting with White House officials.
Obama has made it clear he wants “aggressive” action toward limiting gun ownership, and made the following remarks when announcing that Biden would lead the task force: “The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”
Biden is scheduled to meet next week with officials from the entertainment and video game industries.
The NRA said it was ready Thursday to have a “meaningful conversation” about school safety, mental health considerations and other factors related to gun violence.
“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners – honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans,” noted a portion of the NRA statement.
The NRA said Obama is on a path to “pushing failed solutions” to gun violence.
“We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works – and what does not,” the NRA concluded in its statement.
Hutchinson appeared Dec. 21 at a press conference of the NRA, saying he would lead an initiative to study putting armed guards in schools.
Link here for more detail on Hutchinson’s views on school safety.