It was an embarrassing moment for the NRA, which for the first time delivered a public response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut which killed 20 children and six adults a week ago.
San Francisco-based Benjamin and fellow Code Pinker Tighe Barry not only managed to get through the tight security at the event, but brought in banners declaring “NRA, blood is on your hands” and “NRA, Stop Killing Our Kids.”
Benjamin, reached moments ago, that she was truly interested in LaPierre’s remarks, hoping he would offer some solutions to gun violence.
“We wanted to listen to what they were saying…but we were so appalled by what came out of their mouths,” she said. “Instead of expressing contrition and the feeling that something must be done, they did just the opposite, calling for more guns.
LaPierre, in his remarks, blamed movies, video games and music for troubles in a violent culture.
He suggested the only viable response was more guns.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said. “With all the money in the federal budget can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?”
Security was tight at the D.C. event, and the gun organization demanded reporters submit company letterhead requests for credentials to get to the press conference.
Benjamin — who has staged high profile disruptions of events by political luminaries including Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld — was asked how her group managed to get a seat inside the event.
“That’s part of our secret we don’t reveal,” she laughed.
She and Barry were “dragged out,” but not arrested. Still, Benjamin said she believed the act was necessary in the wake of the Newtown shootings.
“My God, calling for schools to have armed guards…they are so out of touch,” she said of the NRA.
Her message to the organization: “You’re out of tune with where the American people are. We’re really just at our wits end.”
Benjamin praised U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s effort to reintroduce the assault weapons ban, and said that on Thursday, she protested in Nevada U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s office in an effort to push for his support.
“We are pushing to make sure this moment does not slip away like it had with other terrible tragedies,” she said.
“The message is really clear and simple: as a lobby, the NRA is killing our kids by supporting gun violence,” said fellow Code Pinker Rae Abileah. “The bigger message is for our government: Congress has to get out of bed with the biggest, baddest lobby in the United States.”