(NBC) - The quiet of the rolling New England countryside surrounding Newtown, Connecticut is shattered each day now by the rumble of funeral processions and and the reality of what's happened here.
Overwhelming grief and pain continue to pull thousands to the growing memorial in this small town.
Vincent Minutolo and his mom came from Bridgeport to pay their respects.
She carried a stuffed animal.
He carried a concealed weapon.
"There's too many lunatics out there these days, and to be honest I carry mostly everywhere I go," he said.
Minutolo says it's the only way he feels safe.
Safety continues to be at the center of a growing discussion in Washington.
Vice President Biden met with law enforcement representatives Thursday, he first meeting of the president's task force on gun violence.
"Even if we can only save one life, we have to take action," Biden said.
The National Rifle Association will talk about the issue on Friday, but in a written statement has said they are "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
Minutolo says he understands the hurt and concern.
It's why he was drawn here.
But as an active member of the NRA, he says that should not include a ban of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines like police say were used in the Sandy Hook massacre.
"If you ban assault weapons and magazines, who's going to be able to take them away from criminals off the streets, they're still going to have them," he argues.
It's the issue at the center of a continuing debate, framed now by the tragedy in Newtown.