Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter had harsh words on Wednesday for the National Rifle Association’s call to plant armed guards at every school in the country, citing the Dec. 24 shooting attack on firefighters in Webster, New York as proof the group’s proposal was untenable.
“[A] guy sets a fire, firefighters come, and he basically tries to take target practice, and picks off a number of them, killing two, injuring another two, damaging other people’s homes,” Nutter said. “I guess, out of last week’s bizarre press statement — it wasn’t a press conference — I guess Mr. [Wayne] LaPierre would say that firefighters need to have armed guards go with them. I think it just shows that that was a completely dumbass idea from the start.”
The Webster attack came three days after LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice-president, publicly insisted that, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” as a response to calls for tighter gun regulations following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Police in Webster said one of the weapons the gunman used was a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, one of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook attack. And while criticism of the NRA’s statement has come from both the conservative and liberal realms, MSNBC interviewer Luke Russert suggested that political interest in the issue could fade over time, a notion Nutter dismissed.
“Not going to happen,” he said. “I think the public has been shocked and their conscience has been put on the carpet here with this one.”
Watch video of Nutter’s remarks, posted online Wednesday by Mediaite, below.