WASHINGTON, D.C. - The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has left many people, including our nation's lawmakers, talking about gun control.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a lifelong National Rifle Association member, says a discussion about guns is something we need to have right now.
"Every child should have a safe place in their life where harm cannot enter. It's not always the home. It most always has been the school, and it seems like now that has been jeopardized and taken away," says Manchin, (D-W.Va).
Manchin is a hunter and a strong supporter of the NRA. He's had several conversations with the NRA and fellow lawmakers about gun control after the massacre.
"People have come to me and said, 'We should be arming and training all of our teachers and all of our principals how to carry and use a handgun.' Whether you agree or not, that should be part of the dialogue," says Manchin.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) plans on reintroducing a bill to ban assault weapons. Manchin hasn't said one way or another if he'll support it, but he does say it's a conversation lawmakers need to have.
"I think that's a discussion that needs to happen," Manchin says. "Dianne's legislation will probably not be as productive as she would wish it to be unless everybody's at the table and we really understand what we're talking about."
Manchin also thinks mental health and violence in video games should be included in the discussion.
"You have 20 children, 20 babies, that were slaughtered. I never thought in my life I could witness that in this great country," Manchin says. "It has changed us all."
Manchin hopes to bring together both sides of the aisle for a productive discussion on gun control with the hopes of making sure every child can feel safe inside the classroom. He also plans to continue having a dialogue with the NRA.
Feinstein plans to introduce her bill banning assault rifles in January.