(NECN-Brian Burnell-Hartford, Conn.) - On a cold day in Hartford, Conn., the hot topic at the legislative office building was gun control. A committee of the task force responding to the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings had that on the agenda. Thousands passed through the hastily-erected metal detectors to share their thoughts.
State Police unpacked a plethora of weapons for a quick primer for lawmakers on guns. Many in the audience were here to defend the second amendment right to own such guns.
Mark and Cindy Matiolli lost their son, James, at Sandy Hook. Mark said more gun laws are not the answer.
"Is one more law... I don't care if you call it James' Law. I don't want it," he said. "There's common sense laws out there. There are breakdowns in how they're being enforced."
Neil Heslin's son, Jesse Lewis, was a victim, as well. He railed against the assault-style weapon used by the shooter that day.
"That wasn't just a killing. That was a massacre. Those children and those victims were shot apart."
And he asked the assembled gun owners why such weapons should not be banned, and he got an answer.
"And not one person can answer that question,” he said before the crowd responded:
"The right to bear arms shall not be infringed."
Veronique Posner pressed the issue when she spoke with a picture of her son, Noah, by her side.
"Weapons which are designed to inflict as much lethal damage as possible have no place in the hands of civilians."
With more than 90 bills proposed and more public hearings already scheduled this debate's going to go on for a while. As a matter of fact, the full task force will meet and hear from public on Wednesday night at Newtown High School.