This story originally published online at NC Policy Watch. 

North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson demonstrated Friday just how difficult it could be for lawmakers to advance comprehensive gun reform measures in the aftermath of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Addressing the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual leadership forum, Robinson said he thought about his own grandchildren when he heard about the massacre of 19 students and two teachers.

“I paused, took a breath, said a prayer. Because that’s is what we need right now. That’s what those families need right now.” Robinson said.

Then Robinson pivoted to defend Second Amendment rights.

“Everybody says ‘What do we do? What do we do?’ The answer is not simple, but there is a simple starting point, and here it is: Secure our schools.”

Robinson said ‘leftist politicians’ in Washington were bound and determined to leave citizens unarmed and defenseless.

“I’m here to tell you right now, it is not going to happen.It’s time for the law abiding patriots in this nation to say ‘Hell no!’” Robinson said to applause from his audience. “We will not go, and you will not take them.”

The 18-year-old gunman in Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School legally purchased his two assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition just a week earlier.

The school and district had a detailed security plan.

Authorities also revealed Friday that 19 armed officers responded to the school when emergency calls flooded in, some from children inside the school.

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said there were plenty of officers to handle whatever needed to be done.

But they waited more than 40 minutes before entering the classroom, thinking the shooter was barricaded in an adjoining classroom.

“It was the wrong decision.” McCraw acknowledged.

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