LODI (CBS13) — As walkouts and gun control protests continue across the country, gun advocates are also speaking out in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
Gun dealers and attendees at the Lodi Gun Expo say they too were deeply affected by the recent tragedy and hope to find common ground in protecting children while preserving their second amendment rights.
Private gun dealer Steven Brack says overall Americans want the same things.
“Safety for our children and safety for you and I” he said.
But gun advocates say achieving that safety should come through gun education and training, not more legislation.
“You can not stop evil by passing more firearms laws” said show organizer, Guy Meyers.
Dozens attended day one of the expo, where there was just about every type of firearm and ammunition available for purchase. In fact, gun sales overall since Florida they say are up.
“We’re actually seeing about a 10 to 15 percent increase this month” Brack said.
Most of the sales increase in long guns they say, since much of the gun control focus is on assault style rifles like the AR-15 used by the Florida school shooter. But many gun advocates say it’s not the particular type of firearm that’s the problem, but rather external factors affecting mental health.
“Irrational programming I’d say from the video games and some of the movies, that too much of that stuff and you couple it with the drugs that we’re giving more and more of our children” Meyers said.
As for guns in schools.
“Fortunately we have a president that understands that principal” Brack said.
And he support the president’s position of arming teachers or staff to protect students, as long as they’re properly trained.
“The important part of that is we pick those individuals who are talented in firearms and understand them, that can do a good job and not create more problems by them trying to defend our loved ones” Brack said.
Gun advocates say they have noticed a difference with the Florida shootings as compared to past tragedies, as more students are speaking out and companies cutting ties with the NRA. They say they’re willing to listen to solutions, but not at a cost of the erosion of their 2nd amendment rights.