Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre fiercely defended his organization's response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school and indicated that they would not support new federal gun regulations.
LaPierre was panned by critics this weekend following a press conference in which the NRA called for armed security officers in every U.S. school. He responded to critics this morning, "If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy." He added that the American people "think it's crazy not to do it."
The NRA chief also dismissed a bill in the works by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would renew the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. "I think that is a phony piece of legislation and I do not think it will pass."
There was also news from Capitol Hill this morning as both Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were unwilling to show any support for former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a name floated as a possible choice to succeed outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Senator Graham said he would wait until the confirmation hearings to decide and Senator Schumer declined to comment until an official announcement was made.
As Andrea Mitchell pointed out on our roundtable: "If a Democratic Senator is not going to come to Chuck Hagel's defense, then I think there is serious problems there."
You can watch the entire program on our website.
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
We'll be back next week. If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.