Here's a transcript of the remarks from the NRA press conference on the Sandy Hook school shooting. Statements are being updated as the remarks unfold.
DAVID KEENE, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: Good morning. I’m Dave Keene, president of the National Rifle Association of America.
And I’d like to welcome you here this morning for the purposes of beginning our discussion of the topic that’s been on the mind of American parents across this country, and that is, what do we do about the tragedies of the sort that struck in Newtown, Connecticut -- to avoid such events in the future?
Like most Americans, we were shocked by what happened. Like all Americans, we’ve been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children, and at this point we would like to share our thinking with you.
And for that purpose I’d like to introduce Wayne LaPierre, our executive vice president.
Thank you again for being with us.
And at the end of this conference we will not be taking questions, but next week we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest to you, so contact us, please, at that point.
Thank you very much.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NRA: Good morning.
The National Rifle Association -- 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters -- join the nation in horror, outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
Out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment.
While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. Now, we must speak for the safety of our nation’s children.
LAPIERRE: Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?
The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order. Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, court houses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.
LAPIERRE: We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes 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 the predators of the world know it, and exploit it.