Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks during a news conference in Washington December 21, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
The backlash against the National Rifle Association's call for armed guards in every school in the country continues.
The American Psychiatric Association pushed back against NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre's statements in a press conference last week. Finally responding to the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 children and 6 adults dead, LaPierre blamed everything from violent video games and movies, the court system and the mentally ill.
LaPierre continually referred to the perpetrators of violent crimes as "insane" and "lunatics."
He also called for a national database that would track people with mental illness.
"Only 4 to 5 percent of violent crimes are committed by people with mental illness," said APA President Dilip Jeste.
"About one quarter of all Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, and only a very small percentage of them will ever commit violent crimes."
APA CEA James Scully added that LapIerre's statements unfairly characterize people struggling with mental illness.
"This is simply a relic of the past and has no place in our public dialogue," said Scully. "People who are clearly not mentally ill commit violent crimes and perform terrible acts every day. Unfortunately, Mr. LaPierre's statements serve only to increase the stigma around mental illness and further the misconception that those with mental disorders are likely to be dangerous."
LaPierre notoriously said last week, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Democrats and gun control advocates have been livid about the NRA's proposal to place armed guards in all schools, many of them volunteers, but until now Republicans have been silent.
Libertarian Ron Paul spoke out against LaPierre's idea, saying it was an expansion of federal power that he couldn't support.
""School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America," Paul said in a written statement.
"Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners and warrantless physical searches? We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders. This is the world of government provided 'security,' a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse," Paul said.