Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called the National Rifle Association's idea to put armed police or security personnel in every public school a "dumba** idea."
Nutter was interviewed Wednesday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" about the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Webster, N.Y., when he criticized the NRA's proposal, which was first announced last Friday in a press conference by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
"I guess out of last week's bizarre press statement -- it wasn't a press conference -- I guess that Mr. LaPierre would say that firefighters need to have armed guards go with them. I think it just shows that that was a completely dumba** idea from that start with the announcement last week," Nutter said.
LaPierre called on Congress to immediately appropriate funding to place armed police or trained security in every public school.
"The only thing that stops a bad buy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said in the press conference.
On Sunday LaPierre was interviewed for the first time since the Newtown, Conn., shooting. Responding to criticisms of his proposal, he said, "If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. I think the American people think it's crazy not to do it. It's the one thing that would keep people safe."
Nutter argued that the way to protect school kids is not to provide professional security but to ban certain types of weapons, gun clips and ammunition, and to strengthen the system of background checks used to identify who can purchase a gun.
"We need to ban assault weapons. We need to ban the high-capacity clips and magazines. We need serious background information, system upgrade," Nutter said.
In his Sunday interview, LaPierre noted that the NRA has supported background checks. He also mentioned that one of the flaws in the background check system is that if someone with a criminal record tries and fails to purchase a firearm they are not arrested.
A program similar to the NRA's idea was proposed in 1998 by then President Bill Clinton called Cops in Schools.
Nutter belongs to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control advocacy organization.