Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

The head of the National Rifle Association lashed out at gun control advocates on Thursday, saying Democratic elites are politicizing the latest mass school shooting in the United States to try to erode constitutionally guaranteed gun rights.

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump’s call to arm teachers to prevent school shootings, and weighed in on a long-running political and cultural divide over access to weapons that has been inflamed by last week’s massacre at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff.

“The elites don’t care not one whit about America’s school system and school children,” LaPierre told a friendly audience of conservatives outside Washington. “Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”

The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms.

At the White House, Trump told local and state school officials he had discussed his ideas to stem gun violence in schools with the NRA, the politically influential gun lobby that backed him in the 2016 campaign. He called the group “Great American Patriots.”

“There’s a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done,” he said. “The NRA wants to do the right thing.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer condemned LaPierre’s comments and said the NRA was “once again spewing pathetic, out of touch ideas, blaming everything but guns.”

The Feb. 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the latest in a series of deadly shootings at U.S. schools and has spurred unprecedented youth-led protests in cities across the country. Many of the teenagers and their parents taking part have called for more curbs on guns. (Reuters)

Here’s a look at gun-control rallies since the Florida school shooting.

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<p>Picture shows one of the teachers that joined the movement #ArmMeWith, in Burlington, Iowa, Feb. 20, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: courtesy of Instagram/@MISSJOHNSTONSJOURNEY/via Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Picture shows one of the teachers that joined the movement #ArmMeWith, in Burlington, Iowa, Feb. 20, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: courtesy of Instagram/@MISSJOHNSTONSJOURNEY/via Reuters)

<p>People rally in the Minnesota Capitol rotunda “for sensible gun laws,” sponsored by a coalition of gun control and left-leaning groups Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

People rally in the Minnesota Capitol rotunda “for sensible gun laws,” sponsored by a coalition of gun control and left-leaning groups Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

<p>Picture shows one of the teachers that joined the movement #ArmMeWith, in Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 20, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: courtesy of Instagram/ @MIKEYDTEACH/via Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Picture shows one of the teachers that joined the movement #ArmMeWith, in Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 20, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: courtesy of Instagram/ @MIKEYDTEACH/via Reuters)

<p>Connie Ortberg, left, holds her sign as women rally at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, as the 2018 legislative gets underway in St. Paul, Minn., as Moms Demand Actions called on lawmakers to expand background checks and resist efforts to widen the state’s gun laws after the school shooting in Florida last week. (Photo: Jim Mone/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Connie Ortberg, left, holds her sign as women rally at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, as the 2018 legislative gets underway in St. Paul, Minn., as Moms Demand Actions called on lawmakers to expand background checks and resist efforts to widen the state’s gun laws after the school shooting in Florida last week. (Photo: Jim Mone/AP)

<p>A car with a message in support of gun control written on the window drives past the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Peter Wang in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 20, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A car with a message in support of gun control written on the window drives past the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Peter Wang in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 20, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>Konstantine Anthony, left, joins other grassroots protestors during a rally against gun violence in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Hundreds of sign-carrying, chanting protesters have converged on a downtown Los Angeles park, demanding tougher background checks and other gun-safety measures following last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Konstantine Anthony, left, joins other grassroots protestors during a rally against gun violence in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Hundreds of sign-carrying, chanting protesters have converged on a downtown Los Angeles park, demanding tougher background checks and other gun-safety measures following last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP)

<p>Children join their parents during a protest rally against gun violence in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Children join their parents during a protest rally against gun violence in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP)

<p>Protesters hold up sign as U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, talks during a town hall meeting with constituents in a high school assembly hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Greenwood Village, Colo. Coffman was peppered with questions about gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at a school in south Florida last week. (Photo: David Zalubowski/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold up sign as U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, talks during a town hall meeting with constituents in a high school assembly hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Greenwood Village, Colo. Coffman was peppered with questions about gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at a school in south Florida last week. (Photo: David Zalubowski/AP)

<p>A crowd of people hold a rally against gun violence, gathering at Marion Square in downtown Charleston, S.C., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, following Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Florida. (Photo: Matthew Fortner/The Post And Courier via AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A crowd of people hold a rally against gun violence, gathering at Marion Square in downtown Charleston, S.C., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, following Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Florida. (Photo: Matthew Fortner/The Post And Courier via AP)

<p>A protester holds a sign at a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A protester holds a sign at a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters)

<p>A protester holds up a sign during a rally to protest the sale of assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland Shooting at City Hall in Delray Beach, Fla., on Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Mindy Katzman/Yahoo News) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A protester holds up a sign during a rally to protest the sale of assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland Shooting at City Hall in Delray Beach, Fla., on Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Mindy Katzman/Yahoo News)

<p>Protesters take part in a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters take part in a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters)

<p>Protester James Lee of Port St. Lucie, Florida, takes part in a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protester James Lee of Port St. Lucie, Florida, takes part in a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters)

<p>A protester holds up a sign during a rally to protest the sale of assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland Shooting at City Hall in Delray Beach, Fla., on Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Mindy Katzman/Yahoo News) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A protester holds up a sign during a rally to protest the sale of assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland Shooting at City Hall in Delray Beach, Fla., on Feb. 19, 2018. (Photo: Mindy Katzman/Yahoo News)

<p>Alessandra Mondolfi holds a sign against AR-15 weapons as she yells, “No More” during a protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Alessandra Mondolfi holds a sign against AR-15 weapons as she yells, “No More” during a protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez reacts during her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez reacts during her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A protester holds a defaced placard at a rally calling for more gun control three days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A protester holds a defaced placard at a rally calling for more gun control three days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

<p>Alessandra Mondolfi wears a necklace that reads “GUN CONTROL” during a protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Alessandra Mondolfi wears a necklace that reads “GUN CONTROL” during a protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A protester holds a sign calling for a reform of gun laws in front of a flag flying at half mast in honor of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A protester holds a sign calling for a reform of gun laws in front of a flag flying at half mast in honor of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Angelina Lazo (L), an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who said that she lost two friends in the shooting at her school two days ago, reacts to honks of support from passing motorists as she and her mother, Linda Lazo (R), join other gun control proponents with placards at a street corner in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 16, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Angelina Lazo (L), an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who said that she lost two friends in the shooting at her school two days ago, reacts to honks of support from passing motorists as she and her mother, Linda Lazo (R), join other gun control proponents with placards at a street corner in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 16, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

<p>Maria Rodriguez, Colombian, who said that her son was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the mass shooting, mourns while she holds a placard next to others during a protest in support of the gun control in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Maria Rodriguez, Colombian, who said that her son was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the mass shooting, mourns while she holds a placard next to others during a protest in support of the gun control in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>Juliana Cruz, of Parkland, Fla., stands on a street corner holding up an anti gun sign in Parkland, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

Juliana Cruz, of Parkland, Fla., stands on a street corner holding up an anti gun sign in Parkland, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP)

<p>People holding placards take part in a protest in support of the gun control in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

People holding placards take part in a protest in support of the gun control in Coral Springs, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo: Charles Trainor, jr./Pool/Reuters) </p>
Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies

A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo: Charles Trainor, jr./Pool/Reuters)

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