By Alicia M. Cohn - 12/23/12 04:15 PM EST
The head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Sunday blamed the media for pushing a narrative that guns are to blame for mass shootings, and rejected calls for further gun restrictions.
"I know there's a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"If it's crazy to call for putting police in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," LaPierre said. "That's the one thing that we can do immediately that will immediately make our children safe."
LaPierre promised that the NRA, working through their new "National School Shield" program, would press Congress to act.
He suggested that the money to fund a program that would put a police officer in every school could be found in the foreign aid budget. He condemned the idea that the administration can find $2 billion to train domestic police in Iraq and not fund a domestic police program to protect schools.
The NRA's suggestion has been roundly condemned, particularly by Democrats. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), appearing after LaPierre on the same program, said that LaPierre's response is so "extreme" that "he's actually helping us." He predicted new gun-control legislation would pass Congress.
President Obama has called for Congress to propose new legislation that would ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
"My standard is this: You can't legislate morality," LaPierre said, rejecting such policy ideas. "Legislation works on the law abiding. ... There are monsters out there every day and we need to do something to stop them."
LaPierre said the focus needs to be on reforming the mental health system, limiting the violence in video games and the media, prosecuting felons already on the street who try to buy weapons, and protecting America's school children by putting "a good guy with a gun" in every school.
"Gun control...it's not going to make any kids safer," LaPierre said. "We've got to get to the real problem, real causes, and that's what the NRA is trying to do."