The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday, a week after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school, proposing to put police officers in the nation's schools to prevent mass shootings.
Calling gun-free school zones an open invitation for killers to inflict "maximum pain at minimum risk," the NRA executive Wayne LaPierre said the country leaves children defenseless "and the predators of the world know it and exploit it."
LaPierre said the media demonizes lawful gun owners, and he pushed back against calls for additional restrictions on guns.
Calling for armed police officers to be stationed at the nation's schools, LaPierre said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
He blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to draft policies to reduce gun violence after the massacre of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
LaPierre's news conference was interrupted twice by protesters, one holding a sign "NRA Killing Our Kids." The demonstrators were escorted out.
LaPierre spoke an hour and 15 minutes after the nation observed a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. EST, exactly a week after the gunman shot his way into the school. The gunman also killed his mother before heading to the school, where he ended his rampage by committing suicide.