More than a week after 17 students and teachers were killed in a school shooting in Florida, the head of the National Rifle Association accused gun control advocates and the media of exploiting victims' grief to push for stricter gun control measures.
“As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The annual political event draws thousands of conservative activists from across the country.
LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump's proposal for armed guards in schools.
"The whole idea from some of our opponents that armed security makes us less safe is completely ridiculous," said LaPierre. "It's not a safety issue. It's a political issue. They care more about control. And more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment. Their solution is to make you, all of you, less free."
The leading gun lobby group in the U.S. has come under heavy scrutiny since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre, with students conducting classroom walkouts across the country, demanding gun reform. LaPierre's speech, however, made it clear where the group stands as the gun debate continues to take place in Washington and state capitals across the nation.
We reached out to the NRA, local gun shops, and gun ranges, but everyone we spoke with refused to comment.