The National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre took the national stage on Friday in order to present his group's much-anticipated response to the massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last week.
It did not go according to plan.
Only moments into the LaPierre's speech—just as he was beginning to argue that the answer to America's problem with gun violence in schools was to put more guns inside schools—CODEPINK member Tighe Barry stood up in front of LaPierre's podium with a large square sign, reading: "NRA Kills Our Kids."
He was able to hold the sign up, undeterred for several moments—with all the nation's cameras rolling live—before being pushed out of the room by security.
"NRA, stop killing our children," Barry could be heard saying as he was carried away. "It's the NRA and the assault weapons that are killing our children."
Banning the assault weapons, "not arming the teachers," was the right solution, he said. "We have to end the arming. End the violence. Stop the killing in our schools. Stop the killing in our malls. Stop the killing in our streets. The NRA is killing our children."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
Even off camera and now in the hallway, Barry could be heard: "We've gotta stop the violence, and the violence begins with the NRA. They are the perpetrators of crimes that are taking place in our schools and our streets."
Moments later a second protester, CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, stepped up to the front with another sign reading: "NRA: Blood on Your Hands."
As Benjamin was roughly ushered away by two guards, she could be heard exclaiming: "NRA has blood on its hands. Shame on the NRA. Ban assault weapons now."
At that point, journalists in the gallery began calling out to LaPierre, "What's your response to these protesters?" "What's your response?"
He refused to answer and after a couple befuddled moments, continued with his prepared statements.