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Debate over 'good guy with a gun' rages at NRA convention

Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 21:02:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — President Trump and Vice-President Pence are sparking a debate about where the line is drawn between gun ownership and gun control.

The president and vice president promised to keep protecting Second Amendment rights during Friday's speeches, but their message sparked a conversation about "good guys with guns."

Inside Lucas Oil Stadium, thousands of NRA members cheered on Trump and Pence.

During the president's speech, he talked about people who legally use guns to protect themselves and the people around them, at one point saying, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Pence said the Second Amendment is safe under his and Trump's administration.

"Under this president and this administration, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," Pence said.

The president invited several people on-stage, including a mother who shot an intruder who came into her home. The second used an AR-15 to take on a man who attacked people with a knife in his office. And the third was a survivor of the November 2017 First Baptist Church attack in Texas.

"I used my own AR-15 to confront a shooter that had dropped 15, 30-round magazines in my church," Steven Willeford said. "If it were not for our Second Amendment rights and the right to carry an AR-15, the same style of gun he had, then I would have been outgunned myself."

We asked people what they thought of the president's comments about the "good guys with guns":

Denise Prayton: "I want to be able to protect my family. It's an empowerment. It's a right we have that we're Americans and there are too many people who think that guns are bad. Guns don't go off by themselves. It's that trigger. Somebody pulling that trigger. It's the bad person that's doing it that's going to cause bad with guns. We hear all the bad. We hear all about the gang violence, the murders that are going on with guns. You don't see here people are defending themselves and using them to defend people."

Brandon Pearce: If you look at it, if you have a gun in your home, you're more likely to be killed with a gun than you are to use that gun. You're also more likely to have a death because you're a little more arrogant or have it taken away from you."

Kelsey Olson: "We need to focus a lot on the access to guns by people with mental illness, by young people, by people without a background check. I'm not against people owning guns by any means, but I'm against the people who if somebody says something that they don't like, they pull out a gun. People are dying every day from it. What is it, 4,305 deaths this year from it?"

The gun control debate is expected to continue with some protesters expected to show up the next couple days. The NHRA convention will continue to call Indy its home through Sunday.