Vice President Joe Biden figuratively slapped the National Rifle Association in the face on Thursday during a Google+ Hangout by indirectly slamming its suggestion to put armed guards in every school in the nation.
“We are not calling for armed guards in schools…we think that would be a terrible mistake,” the VP said during a PBS “Fireside Hangout.”
“The last thing we need to do is be arming school teachers and administrators,” he added.
The Vice President did talk about allowing schools to hire more mental health professionals and ‘resource officers.’ Biden said the current proposal — some $40 million for schools to hire these individuals — will not fully cover the cost of implementing these strategies nationwide, but it is a “way to begin the process.”
Biden’s backhanded insult came just minutes after he mentioned that he had met with the NRA during his gun safety task force meetings earlier this month.
But Biden’s position on armed guards isn’t one the administration has been pushing. During an interview with David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” Obama said he was “skeptical” of putting armed guards in schools, but refused to rule it out. And the federal government used to pay for a program to put armed guards in schools, something that Obama discontinued in 2012.
During the live chat, Biden also contradicted a questioner who asked about “gun control.”
“I don’t view it as gun control,” he said. “I view it as gun safety.”
The Vice President also mentioned he doesn’t care what semi-automatic weapons are called.
“I’m much less concerned quite frankly about what you call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine,” he said.