One week after the deadly shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, the debate over guns and gun violence continues both here in Oregon and around the country. On Friday, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre called on Congress to put armed guards in schools to protect American children.
"We as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless and the monsters and the predators of the world know it and exploit it," said LaPierre.
Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer called the NRA proposal "beside the point".
The congressman says the proposal doesn't begin to address shootings like the one last week at Clackamas Town Center or any number of other firearm deaths that take place every day in this country.
"It is a small fraction of the overall problem. What we need to do is what every other reasonable country has done and take steps to reduce gun violence," said Blumenauer.
Blumenauer says he wants to see Congress renew the federal assault weapons ban. He also supports other steps such as banning high capacity magazines and closing a loophole that allows customers at gun shows to sidestep criminal background checks.
In a written statement, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also criticized the proposal.
"We need to examine the range of possible solutions – from assault weapons to background check loopholes to mental health – to prevent more of these kinds of devastating losses. But the answer is clearly not putting more guns in our schools,” he wrote.