(CNSNews.com) - American children "shouldn't be afraid to go to school," incoming NRA President Lt.-Col. Oliver North said on Sunday. "They shouldn't worry about the fact that they might not go home that night because some crazed person comes in with a firearm," he said.
But taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens is not going to "stop the carnage" in the nation's schools, North told "Fox News Sunday."
He said the schools themselves must be hardened: "If that means five metal detectors getting in and out of the high school, you get five metal detectors."
Lt.-Col. North pointed to the "School Shield" program the NRA introduced two years ago. "We'll go do an assessment -- costs the school nothing, costs the taxpayers nothing to get the assessment, as to what the issues are in terms of ingress, egress, the ability to hide a firearm and get them into a school. The number of officers you really need. And very few schools actually have that," North said.
"But if School Shield had been in place in Santa Fe high school, far less likely that that would have happened. The problem that we got is we are trying like the Dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease.
"And the disease in this case isn't the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence. They have been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male and they are young teenagers in most cases.
"And they have come through a culture where violence is commonplace. All you need to do is turn on the TV, go to a movie. If you look at what has happened to the young people, many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now, I am certainly not a doctor, I'm a Marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening."
North said the NRA is "trying to make sure that kids are protected without taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens. And that's -- that's all it's about."
North said his goal as the new NRA president is to add a million more members to the organization. "We have 6 million now. We've been around since 1871. It took us that long. I want to get a million more. And then I'm going to go out and ask every NRA member to recruit one more.
"That will put 14 million activists on the streets. Not the types that George Soros is fielding, not the types that showed up down there in Dallas to protest our right to gather. But those are going to be people who support the Second Amendment. That's our cause," North said.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" immediately after North, gun control advocate Mark Kelly said he doesn't support the proliferation of guns throughout society: "I'm a gun owner. Like Ollie, I'm a supporter of the Second Amendment, but we make it so easy for irresponsible people and criminals to get access to firearms," Kelly said.
"One thing that could be done, I mean, the state of Texas is an example, could pass a piece of legislation that requires parents to safely store their firearms if they have a child in the house. I mean, this kid was 17 years old. He shouldn't have access to a semiautomatic shotgun and a .38 revolver. I mean, there is legislation. I mean, it works. It works in the states that have less gun violence. You know, they have stronger laws."
Kelly criticized North's argument that "the problem is the school and the access point."
Host Chris Wallace asked Kelly if schools should be hardened by limiting access to them, as we do with airports:
"Absolutely. I mean, I think we should make it more difficult," Kelly replied. "I mean, figure out a way to prevent people coming in the door with a firearm. At the same time, make sure that that irresponsible person can't get the gun in the first place.
"I mean, there are a lot of reasons why we have the level of gun violence that we currently have in this country. It's not one reason we have 38,000 people dying every year from gun violence, another 110,000 people are shot and injured.
"I can tell you this, and this is from somebody who owns eight firearms -- it's not because we don't have enough guns in our society. I mean, we have more guns than almost every other country. If the issue was more firearms in more places, which is what Ollie North and the NRA advocates for, we would live in the safest country on the planet and that's not the case."