WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The last few days have been dark; the images seared into our memory--the news of 20 murdered children and 6 women in Connecticut spreading like wildfire across the world. That wildfire has yet again sparked a national debate about how to stop the violence. President Obama last night addressed grief-stricken families.
"We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change," he said.
Warner Robins attorney Kelly Burke owns firearms himself, and he started a Facebook page back in September called 'Houston County Carries Concealed,' in support of responsible gun owners who have carry permits. He says the issue isn't about guns.
"The crazy guy gets to carry," Burke told 41NBC.
How do you ensure guns stay out of the wrong hands? Burke says that's hard question to answer.
"Until we can do something to keep crazy people from having guns, I don't know what else you do," he says.
The tragedies in Connecticut and Oregon last week have prompted a petition on Facebook from Middle Georgians, asking Houston Galleria Mall to allow concealed weapons in, so people can defend themselves if need be. The petition had 172 signatures Monday night.
This national conversation is on everybody's lips, especially here in Middle Georgia where gun laws are lenient. 41NBC spoke with several customers here at Chuck's Gun and Pawn in Warner Robins, who say banning guns won't solve anybody's problems. Business there was booming Monday.
"People are coming in more and talking about what they're seeing in TV, I mean they're paying attention to their rights being infringed and so they're pretty much trying to get them while they can," says owner Chuck Williams.
"We need to have realistic views, realistic ideologies of how we're gonna solve this problem," patron David Ballengee said.
Both sides of the argument agree, reform must happen. Chuck Williams reflected on the lives that could have been spared if just one person had been armed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "If I had had a weapon on me, and I'd have had some kind of way to put myself between that guy and them kids, I'd have done it."
A grieving country--all of us wishing we could have done something to stop Friday's massacre of innocence.
"Certainly there were heroes in Newtown, but wouldn't it have been great if there would have been a hero that would have eliminated that threat before he killed 20 children?," said Kelly Burke.