WARE, Mass. (WWLP) - The scope of the horror inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School goes far beyond any other mass shooting in recent US history.
The reported shooter Adam Lanza sprayed two classrooms filled with first graders with a Bushmaster. 223 assault rifle.
20 children, 4 teachers, the school psychiatrist and the principal were all killed.
Many believe the tragedy will be a turning point in the gun control debate.
"When you see something like this it raises questions so you think of stronger gun laws," said John Martins of Belchertown.
Many parents, in particular, can't get Friday's violence out of their minds.
Mary Ellen Kopie of Chicopee said, "I just got out of Kohls and I wanted to get my grandson a Nerf gun so bad and I didn't have the heart to do it, as simple as a Nerf gun."
As more call for stricter laws, gun enthusiasts are buying up some types of semi-automatic weapons fearing another assault weapons ban.
At Ware Gun Shop, the owner Mike Weisser, told 22News, gun sales have been steady.
He says with a Democrat in the White House, many people have been stocking up since November.
Weisser isn't surprised the shootings in Newtown have renewed the gun control debate.
The guns used in the shooting were legally purchased by Adam Lanza's mother.
He was a year shy of being able legally buy weapons himself, regardless of any mental health issues.
Weisser said, "He would have been able to go into any shop, passed a background check because he had not had any contact with law enforcement in any way."
That's the issue mental health professionals like Holyoke Medical Center's Baxter Chandler hope lawmakers will focus on.
Chandler said, "We need to have a much more open discussion about how we not only regulate or look at current gun laws and also how we look at mental health community."
A ten year ban on assault weapons ended in 2004.
Several states, including Massachusetts, chose to continue to ban magazines that hold more than 10 shots, but many semi-automatic weapons are still legal.
He explained, "Trying to define what gun control means either you let guns be sold or you don't, if you let them be sold but you're trying to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands is a slippery slope."
Weissner explained that in his experience, more gun control is not always the answer.
He explained, "These are people have very carefully planned this activity and they're going to do what they need to do to acquire the weapons that they want, these are not spontaneous drive-bys or domestics which is what most of the gun violence is in this country."