(CNN) — The National Rifle Association is grieving the lives lost in last week’s school shooting in Connecticut, but it is no-weapons policies at schools that put children’s lives at risk, the group’s executive director said Friday.
Wayne LaPierre spoke to reporters in an appearance that was interrupted twice by protesters shouting anti-NRA slogans and bearing banners in front of his podium, including one that said, “NRA killing our kids.”
The nation’s most prominent gun rights lobby joins “the nation in horror, outrage and earnest prayer for the families” who “suffered such an incomprehensible loss” in Newtown, Connecticut, LaPierre said.
However, he said, schools remain a target by criminal gunmen because they are not protected by armed security the way other important institutions are.
Policies banning guns at schools create a place that “insane killers” consider “the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” LaPierre said.
Such policies leave schoolchildren “utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it,” he said.
Friday’s event was billed as a news conference, but LaPierre only read a statement; he took no questions.
One week ago, a gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot 20 students, six adults then himself dead in Newtown.
Adam Lanza had killed his mother before arriving at the school.
You can read the entire statement given by the NRA at their news conference here.