NRA remarks spark debate in New Mexico

Posted at: 12/21/2012 6:04 PM
Updated at: 12/21/2012 6:16 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Remarks by the National Rifle Association Friday have created a firestorm of a debate surrounding gun control.

Wayne LaPierre, an executive with the NRA held a news conference today to weigh in on the tragedy In Newtown, Conn.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre told reporters. "I call upon Congress to act today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school."

Across the nation people are reacting to the statements.

In Santa Fe Friday, a memorial for the victims led to a discussion about the NRA’s statements. "I don't accept the prescriptions of the National Rifle Association," said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss. “I was just at my granddaughter's school play for Christmas. Should there be an armed guard at the school play? Should there be an armed guard at the basketball games? Should there be an armed guard all day long? I think more guns is not the proper response to this problem." 

The Santa Fe School District uses a private security company to provide protection on some campuses. Santa Fe Superintendent Joel Boyd said he isn’t fully convinced more armed guards are the answer either.

"We can lock down our schools like prisons, but is that how we want to educate our children?" Boyd said.

Community leaders say the solution will take a mixture of more help for the mentally ill and a ban on assault rifles but he said armed guards alone won’t solve the problem.

"For far too long the NRA has interjected itself in the middle of this debate and at this point we need to step back and realize they are not the ones that should be guiding the conversation around gun control," said Rev. Brandon Johnson, United Church of Santa Fe.

KOB reached out to the Albuquerque Public School and received the following statement: “The school district is not responding to the NRA. With regard to the district’s position on certified police officers carrying firearms in schools, the APS Board of Education approved arming certified APS Police Officers in November 2007. There are currently 56 certified APS Police Officers. APD and BCSO also have officers assigned to some schools.”