The NRA has said very little since the shootings in Newtown, Conn., one week ago.
We're hearing from Dave Keene, president of the NRA.
Keene: "Like most Americans, we were shocked by what happened." Like all Americans, we have been thinking what to do. We would like to share our views with you.
We won't take media questions today, but will do so next week.
We're now hearing from Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA.
LaPierre: The NRA is 4 million mothers, sons, fathers, daughters - joins the nation in grief, prayer for the families of Newtown who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
LaPierre: We refrained from comment out of respect for the families. "We have remained respectively silent. Now we must speak, for the safety of our nation's children." For all the noise and anger directed at us this week, no one has addressed the immediate question - how do we protect our children now, today, in a way that we know works.
LaPierre: The only way to answer that wuestion is to face the truth. Politicans pass laws for gun-free school zones, issue press releases, post signs advertising them. In doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. How have our nation's priorities gone so far out of order?
LaPierre: We protect banks, office buildings, power plants, courthouses even sports stadiums are protected by armed security. The President has armed Secret Service agents. Yet when it comes to our most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family - our children - we as a society leave them every day "utterly defenceless and the monsters and the predators of the world know it and exploit it. That must change now."
A protester has brought a pink flag saying NRA Killing our Kids. He is saying "We've got to stop the killing ... The NRA is killing our children ... The violence begins with the NRA."
LaPierre continues despite the protester.
The protester was escorted away by security guards.
LaPierre: Does everybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his next attack at a school he's already identified? How many copycats are planning the next attack while media machine gives attention they crave? A dozen more killers? A hundred? How many given nation's refusal to create national database of the mentally ill.
LaPierre: Violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years because of an unwillingness to prosecute criminals. There's a recipe for violence and victimization. There;s a dirty little truth that media tries to conceal a shadow industry that sells and sows violence against its own people through vicious, violent video games. Names Grand Theft Auto. Here's one - called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years.
LaPierre: Add another hurricane, another natural disaster. We have blood-soaked films out there. 1000 music videos portray life as a joke and show murder as entertainment. Is it entertainment? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks a filthy form of pornography?
LaPierre: A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by age 18. Throughout it all, too many in the national media, their corproate ownesr and stock holders act as silent enablers if not complict co-conspirators.
There's another protester/
The woman has a banner. "The NRA has blood on its hands. Shame on the NRA."
A journalist is asking LaPierre his reaction to the protesters.
LaPierre continues with his speech.
LaPierre: The next atrocity is a news cycle away. The media calls assault rifles machine guns. They claim these are used by the military. They don't know what they're talking about.
LaPierre: As brave and heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were, and as prompt and well trained as the police were, they were unable to stop it. As parents we do whatever we can to keep our children safe. It's now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools.
LaPierre: The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to personally be involved.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
LaPierre: I can imagine the headlines you'll print tomorrow: More guns are the NRA's answer to everything. Since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? A gun in the hands of secret service agents or soldiers aren't a bad word. When you hear glass breaking at 3 a.m. you can't pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to protect you.
LaPierre: Why is a gun in the hands of a secret service agent good but bad when it's to protect our children? It's our duty and right to protect kids.
LaPierre: Five years after Virginia Tech, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. What if when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook School he'd been confronted by qualified armed security, could you admit that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day?
LaPierre: Real resistance to armed monsters shouldn't be a lone, unarmed school principal. No one has the right to impose that sacrifice.
LaPierre: There's no national, one size fits all solution to protect children. The President scrapped school policing grants in next year's budget. With all the foreign aid money in the budget, all the money that's there, can't we afford to put an armed police officer in every school?
LaPierre: The NRA knows there are millions of qualified active and retired police, military, reserve, fire fighters, rescue personnel to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now.
LaPierre: Budgets of police departments are strained and resources are limited, but there dedication is there. Asks Congress to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police in every school in the nation. Do it now to make sure blanket safety is in place before kids go back to school in January.
LaPierre: Every school in the US should plan meetings with parents, teachers, school authorities to erect a cordon of protection around our kids now. Every school will have a different solution based on its unique situation. Every school needs to put this in place now.
LaPierre: The NRA has 11,000 police training instructors. We're ready, willing and prepared to help. We did it for the defence industries and military installations in WWII. We did it for kids. And we'll do it again today. The NRA will bring all its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model national schools shield emergency response program for every school.
LaPierre: This multi-faceted program will have a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires.
LaPierre: If we truly cherish our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums we must give them "properly trained armed good guys."
LaPierre: We'll make this available to schools around the world as well as in America. It will start right now. There's time for talk and debate later. "This is the time, this is the day for decisive action." We can't wait for the next unspeakable crime to act.
LaPierre: We must act now for the sake of every child in America. I call on every parent, teacher, school administrator, law enforcement officer to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defence that's tested to work.
LaPierre introduces Asa Hutchinson, who will lead the NRA's effort. He is a former US congressman and US attorney in Arkansas.
Hutchinson says the confidence of parents has been shattered post Newtown. I'm happy to lead a team of security experts to protect schools. I took this assignment on one condition: That my team will be independent.
Hutchinson: This effort will be based on a model security plan that will serve as a template that every school in America can tweak as needed.
Hutchinson: Local schools and parents can decide not to have armed security personnel. My son was a part of a program called Watchdog Dads, who helped patrol playgrounds. Clinton had a cops in schools program. There are many people who would serve if trained. NRA is the natural leader of this program.
Hutchinson: Locally trained, armed qualified security is one component among many. Provide last line of defence.
Journalists are trying to ask Dave Keene, NRA president, questions. He says he won't take questions today, but will on Monday. This is unusual -- press conferences normally involve journalists asking questions.
The NRA has wrapped up its press conference.
A summary of the NRA's proposal -- put armed security guards in every school in America. The NRA didn't address any measures relating to gun control.
The press conference was interrupted twice by protesters with banners blaming the NRA for gun violence. It will be interesting to hear how they managed to get into the room.
Thanks for following our live coverage of the NRA's much-anticipated news conference.