Logo of the National Rifle Association.
WASHINGTON (CBS) -- The National Rifle Association is talking for the first time since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The NRA has been criticized by lawmakers and members of the public who want stricter gun control laws.
Full press conference transcript (PDF)
The head of the National Rifle Association faced the media for the first time since the deadly school shooting in Connecticut.
He says gun control is not the answer. Wayne LaPierre says, "The only way to protect from a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun."
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is calling on the government to place an armed police officer at every school in the nation. He says, "And to do it now to make sure blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January."
LaPierre's speech was interrupted several times by demonstrators. Demonstrators also gathered outside to protest. Protester Barbara Griffith says, "They want to turn us into a bunker mentality and a bunker society where we live behind secure walls and that's not the kind of world I want my grandchildren to grow up in."
The NRA is under pressure to soften its stance on gun control. Members of the public and the President are pushing for new restrictions on gun sales.
A gun control petition on the White House website has received more 400,000 signatures.
The president acknowledged the outpouring of support and he once again called on congress to pass new legislation. He says, "If there is even one thing we can do as a country to protect our children we have a responsibility to try."
The President has asked the NRA to join a broad effort to reduce gun violence which includes looking at mental health care. But the White House is pushing for a bill that bans assault weapons something the NRA opposes.
The President put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of the effort to develop new legislation.