10:12 AM EST, December 18, 2012
The school massacre has understandably reignited the debate over gun control. But despite that, it has actually been good for gun sales. INSIDE EDITION reports, sales of the rifle used in the massacre have skyrocketed and some are even buying it as a Christmas gift.
David Letterman got serious with a heartfelt plea for tougher gun control.
Letterman said, “There have been 70, 70 episodes of school shootings in the United States since 1994.”
Letterman spoke for an unprecedented seven minutes on Monday’s show about the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Like parents everywhere, he was deeply affected.
“You drop your kid off, you don't see them again? Honestly? That's really life, now, that's how it's going to be?,” he said.
"Blood on Your Hands" said the New York Daily News headline on Tuesday morning. The newspaper is urging Congress to act to curb gun violence.
Whoopi Goldberg jumped into the national debate on The View.
"You can't justify owning an assault rifle. It is a weapon of mass destruction."
At the center of the debate is the most popular rifle in America - the Bushmaster AR-15, the same model used by the madman in the Sandy Hook massacre.
Believe it or not, sales of the rifle have actually increased since the shootings.
Gun store owner Rick Friedman said, “People want to make sure they can own them legally before they get the right taken away.”
In one video, families pose for pictures with Santa surrounded by AR-15's and other automatic weapons in Arizona.
The AR-15 is expected to be under many Christmas trees this year, more than three million Americans own one.
It's become part of our pop culture in movies and video games.
The AR-15 is popular with women as well as men and the rifle has many enthusiastic fans on YouTube.
CBS national security correspondent John Miller explained the popularity of the AR-15.
Miller said on the CBS Morning Show, "Downrange from a target far away, something you would have trouble with hitting accurately with a handgun, you can put the round right there. It is an easy gun to shoot."
But the rifle has also been used in recent mass shootings like the Batman movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado, and the Oregon shopping mall shooting just days before Sandy Hook.
Now, Wal-Mart has pulled the AR-15 from its website, leaving only an empty screen.
Dick's Sporting Goods also suspended sales nationwide and said in a statement, "During this time of national mourning, we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy."
The company that manufactures the bushmaster has pulled all of it's commercials and ads in the wake of the shootings.