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NRA responds to Newtown

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
December 21, 2012 1:33:41 PM PST
Wasn't Adam Lanza's first victim a woman with a handful of weapons?

So then lemme get this right: The NRA now says that the best way to protect students from guns is to bring more guns onto campus?

Good thing the National Rifle Association waited a week to comment on the gun-loving-maniac who murdered 20 kids and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, moments after he mowed down his own mother, whose assault rifle he used in all the killings. I mean they didn't say anything out of sympathy and compassion.

What a parallel universe show we saw this morning. First the moment of silence, and then the sounds of the NRA. The tolling of 26 bells at houses of worship around the country, and then arguably the toll on logic.

The reaction was dramatic and rapid from so many quarters - liberals and conservatives - against the NRA's suggestion that what these schools need is armed security. The head of the NRA - Wayne LaPierre - called on Congress to require an armed officer in every school in the country by January.

Let's see - about 99,000 schools in this country. And let's just say you pay an average security guard about $50,000. If my math is right, that's nearly $5 billion a year, not including all the benefits and whatnot. And the last I looked, local governments didn't exactly have a cash register full of money they're not using.

The International Assn. of Chief of Police took the NRA's proposal and did some quick math. It estimates that, if this armed-camp-campus proposal were to happen, it would mean the "reassignment of nearly 1/7th of American law enforcement officers" to schools.

So the answer to gun violence is more guns?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's response was swift: "I mean, do we even need to respond to this, or should we just let lunacy speak for itself?" NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly also lambasted the NRA, in a kind of "is that all there is?" critique. "I thought they were going to make some meaningful recommendations as to how we can strengthen gun control.

Meanwhile, more funerals today - five of them, including three kids. And while we're in Newtown for those funerals, we're also interested tonight in how the people of Newtown feel about the NRA's suggestion that there be armed guards on campus.

Also at 11 - for all those who maxed out their credit cards, thinking it would be the end of the world today, well, how's that workin' out for ya?

The end was supposed to happen at 6:11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. I woke up alive at about 6:45, realized I hadn't gone poof, and started in on the first of my 10 or so cups of daily coffee.

I suppose the whole Mayan calendar thing was a needed distraction for some peeps. But now that we're all ok, let's move on with life people.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

PS: This column will resume on Wednesday, Dec. 26, but I will be working Christmas morning, along with Lee Goldberg and Lauren Glassberg, as we work the newscasts for our colleagues who are off on Christmas. And as I've done since 2001, after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, I'll be reading your emails on the air during our morning newscasts, starting at 4:30 a.m. If you have some thoughts - and my goodness we've had quite a fall of big news, what with a hurricane and these shootings - I'd love to hear from you. Lee and Lauren and I will be pouring over your emails. Send to me, BILL.S.RITTER@ABC.COM.

Happy Holidays,

BILL RITTER

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