CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Speaking publicly for the first time since a shooting rampage killed 20 children at an elementary school in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association called for armed police officers in every school, saying the next shooter is “waiting in the wings.”
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre,
LaPierre says the federal government spends billions of dollars on foreign aid, so it can afford police officers at elementary schools. LaPierre also criticized President Obama for scrapping school security grants in last year’s budget and next year’s budget.
“They’re our kids, they’re our responsibility. It is not just our duty to protect them, it is our right to protect them,” LaPierre said.
Danny Buckhalter spent part of Friday shopping at Eagle Guns in Concord.
The tragedy still doesn’t make sense to him.
"You get a crazy man with a gun, something has to give,” Buckhalter said.
Buckhalter owns an AR-15 assault rifle, which is the same type of weapon Adam Lanza used in his attack last Friday.
Buckhalter agrees with LaPierre that it's complicated, but something has to be done.
"I don't think there's a national answer on this, each community has to do it on their own,” said Buckhalter.
Brenda Ballard thinks teachers with conceal carry permits should be able to brings guns to school. She's a gun owner and retired elementary school teacher from Cabarrus County.
'If the principal of that school was armed, there's a possibility there wouldn't have been so many lives lost,” Ballard said.
Candice Talent has a child in kindergarten. She says the government spends billions on everything, so why not securing her child's school.
"Every single one of them,” she said.
President Obama is seeking reinstatement of an expired assault weapons ban, and discussing limiting the number of rounds a gun can hold.
Talent supports the President on that.
"I don't see why anybody needs that many bullets in a gun.”
"There's no one that needs those assault rifles unless you are in war,” said neighbor Patricia Stamey.
Folks weren't just talking weapons at Eagle Guns, but also about how there needs to be more value placed on, and taught, about respect for human life.
Local school districts say they would like to have the conversation about police in elementary schools, if they had the money in their budgets.
Districts typically have school resource officers working in high schools and middle schools, but not on a daily basis at elementary schools.