February 22, 2018
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — One week after 17 people were killed in a school massacre in Florida the head of the National Rifle Association accused gun control advocates and the media of taking advantage of victims' grief to push new gun restrictions.

“As usual the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for gain," Wayne LaPierre, the NRA executive vice president and CEO, told the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday. Gun control advocates and the media “hate the NRA, they hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom.”
LaPierre called for armed guards in schools and said that the NRA would provide free assistance.
“Evil walks among us, and God help us if we don’t harden our schools and protect our kids,” he said. “To stop a bad guy with a gun it takes a good guy with a gun.”
The time slots for LaPierre and NRA’s spokeswoman Dana Loesch — who spoke just before he did — were not announced until the last minute. Their comments followed a week that saw students and families of shooting victims executing walk-outs, protests and face-to-face meetings with elected leaders, including President Trump, in calls for gun control and school security.
Thursday morning, Trump tweeted that LaPierre and others at the NRA are "Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing.”
The president has vowed over the past several days to bolster background checks, raise the gun buying age to 21 and end the sale of a device — called a bump stock — that can turn guns into automatic weapons.
The NRA is supportive of a bipartisan bill that would provide financial incentives to states and federal agencies to work harder to comply with existing laws that require them to report criminal and mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The organization has also said it supports regulations on bump stocks, but has come out against raising the gun-buying age.
Trump has also called for some teachers to be armed with concealed guns, an issue LaPierre did not address. The president on Twitter said those who participated would have military or other special weapons training. That idea was roundly criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall with shooting victims Wednesday night.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Scuhmer, D-N.Y., said after LaPierre's speech said "the president is pushing for action on things – including comprehensive background checks – that the NRA opposes."
Schumer said Trump has previously broken with the NRA and supported gun restrictions, but then reversed himself.
"I hope this time will be different," he continued.
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