FAIRFAX, Va. – In the wake of yet another mass shooting, the National Rifle Association is calling for more lenient gun laws and has gone so far as to ask Congress to reduce the minimum age required to purchase a handgun to twelve. “Children are our future,” Wayne Lapierre declared as he stood on the steps of Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, Friday. “As Americans, we have the right to protect our future.”
Mr. Lapierre is touring elementary schools across the country this month as part of a new NRA campaign to make firearms safety and training a required subject in the nation’s public school system. “In this day and age, firearms should be as common in the classroom as textbooks and pencils,” Lapierre told supporters. The NRA chairman pledged to donate $30,000 in scholarships to any school district that adopts the firearm safety and training program as part of their core curriculum. Sponsored by Bushmaster, the program aims to familiarize children, beginning at a young age, with basic firearms safety, handling, marksmanship, and defensive shooting techniques.
In addition to $30,000 in scholarships, Mr. Lapierre said the NRA will provide each school district with an estimated five thousand brand new firearms and two hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ammunition free of charge for students to use throughout the school year. “Firearm safety isn’t only about protecting your loved ones from bodily harm or violent death, it’s also about having fun,” Lapierre said, flanked by a group of school children on the steps of Spring Hill Elementary School.
“Gunsmiths at our headquarters in Fairfax have worked around the clock to design a line of custom firearms tailored specifically for children in our safety program,” Lapierre said as he presented attendees with a Lego-themed Glock 19 semiautomatic handgun equipped with a thirty-three round high-capacity magazine. “This is our standard issue starter pistol,” the NRA president said, adding the firearm can be comfortably stored in a student’s desk or backpack when not in use.
Furthermore, the NRA will provide schools with the Bushmaster M4-A3 Tactical Carbine, a semiautomatic rifle with a six-position collapsible stock, angled foregrip, thirty-round magazine, and an EoTech Holographic Weapons Sight for improved accuracy. The rifle will be available in two themes: Transformers for boys, and Disney’s Frozen for girls. “The perfect target rifle for novice shooters of all ages,” said Lapierre.
Without directly referring to this week’s mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina where nine innocent lives were taken, Wayne Lapierre called on states to allow the carrying of firearms in churches and other places of worship, saying, “God would want guns in church. God wants his people safe.” Himself a devout Catholic, Lapierre said, “Catholics and Christians alike are called upon everyday by the Lord to prevent criminals and other miscreants from carrying out the Devil’s work.” He concluded by saying, “Gun ownership is not a privlege, it’s a right. A God-given right.”