'It's not the gun's fault, it's the people's fault': Hundreds attend 2nd Amendment rally in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hundreds of gun rights supporters gathered at Halifax Mall in Raleigh Saturday afternoon.

It was one of several rallies happening across the country, many taking place in state capitols.

For about four hours, people spent the afternoon listening to speeches, waving signs and showing their support for the Second Amendment.

One of the most-discussed topics: school safety.

RELATED: Hundreds to attend National 2nd Amendment Rally in Raleigh on Saturday

"School security is just so important. This should be a bipartisan issue. We all need to come together to support something that's going to save students' Iives. The price has been too high already," said Connor Groce, a senior at West Forsyth High School in Clemmons.

Groce was the first speaker to take the podium on Saturday.

"I think any opportunity for our voice to be heard, we need to take it," said Groce.

Groce believes both sides of the debate acknowledge there's a problem - but disagree on the solution.

"There is people out there who do wrong but again it's not the gun's fault, it's the people's fault," said Tara Brandau, who attended the rally.

It was a common refrain from many, who instead pointed to other options to keep people safe.

"I think we should talk about some of the mental health issues, and some of the education issues, and teaching people how to handle a gun early," said Travis Groo, a Libertarian candidate for the House of Representatives in District 11.

While Groo doesn't believe guns are the problem, he's open to discussing solutions that would satisfy gun rights and gun control supporters.

As for the tone of Saturday's rally, while some attacked gun control advocates - one woman even went as far as creating a sign taunting Parkland shooting Survivor David Hogg - Groce believed both sides need to alter their tone to make any real progress.

"I have no interest in attacking anybody because of their beliefs, because I don't want to be attacked for my beliefs," said Groce, who added he sympathized with the Parkland survivors.

Many speakers noted they hoped to see more conservative young people get involved in the political process.
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