CINCINNATI - Until Friday, the national debate that erupted following Sandy Hook had been missing one obvious player: the National Rifle Association.
Following the tragedy in Connecticut, the NRA went silent, shutting down their website, and Twitter page.
Now, a week after 26 children and adults were shot to death in an elementary school, the gun rights lobbying organization has broken its silence.
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun," said NRA vice president Wayne LaPierre during a news conference.
He did not hold back about the organization's strategy to make the nation's children safe.
"The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids," he said, "is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection."
He asked that Congress "put armed police officers in every school."
That launched a volley of reaction from the diners at Tucker's Restaurant in Over-the-Rhine.
"An armed school resource officer would be assigned to every school, that would be a great thing," said Peter Grady, as he waited for his lunch.
"I think that they have the wrong answer to it," disagreed Madison Grady. "I think that there should probably be more gun control laws, and not put guns in school."
LaPierre blamed TV, movies and video games for the violence.
That drew a sharp rebuke, from Katie Carroll.
"If it wasn't happening in our society, it wouldn't be in our media," she said. "The media doesn't dictate how we're going to operate as a culture."
"They may have an argument," said Peter Grady. "As far as desensitization goes."
'Argument' may be the operative word, as the debate over our children's safety continues.