Gun control debate reaches Southport
 

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has once again brought the topic of gun control to the forefront. But some local gun owners warn against knee-jerk reactions.

As the president and Congress are arguing the gun control debate, so are folks right here at home. Today, I spoke with gun owners who say more laws are not the answer.

"I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools," President Obama said in an interview today.

"Put law enforcement or armed security guards in these places where we want our children to be protected," said gun owner Joseph Parent.

There does not seem to be much middle ground for the two sides in the gun control debate.

"Gun control is not the problem. Control the people," said gun owner Richard Timberlake. The gun doesn't kill anybody. The idiot behind it uses it to kill somebody."

Ever since the shooting at Sandy Hook there have been increased talks in Washington for stricter firearms laws.

Gun owners at the Ant Hill shooting range in Southport say such laws would only hurt the good guys.

"If you want a gun, you're going to get a gun," said gun owner Joe Hill. "I spent many years in the police department. You're going to get a gun, legal or not."

They say for them, shooting is just a hobby.

"Some people enjoy yoga. Some people enjoy running. I enjoy coming out and meeting like-minded americans in a safe environment with good, safe, friendly competition," said Parent.

A USA Today poll taken shortly after the Sandy Hook Massacre shows 58% of people now favor stricter gun laws, that is up from 43% the same time last year.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

For the gun owners: Please stop the fear infused, hatred spewing belly aching that "Gun Grabbers" are coming after you. Your paranoia is exhausting. Myself and other like minded individuals think making a certain specific style & capacity weapon (assault rifle) illegal will save lives, and it will. It will not save everyone, but it will limit what an individual can do which will effectively result in less victims. Look a the school shooting fatalities during the assault weapons ban of 1994-2004, 49 victims were murdered... look at 2004- Present ... we haven't even completed a ten year record and we have 77 victims of school shootings... Do you want to know why? Do I even need to bring it up? Can you not protect yourself without a small military arsenal at home to save teachers, administrators, and last but not least children... Can you not think for yourself and see that it is wrong? Does the NRA control your mind to this extent? Come on people this is UNNECESSARY! These weapons serve no purpose in our society. The risk greatly out weighs the reward... more guns is not the answer, people are to flawed to accept the responsibility. I ask you to look at the facts and understand not having these weapons legal during 1994-2004 probably saved a lot of lives... Columbine could have easily been twice as worse as VT or Sandy Hook... please stop the hate filled bickering and use some common sense.

I'm not brain washed by NRA or anyone else. You also do not have the right to tell me what I can or can't own. I do not tell you. You have a opinion that is different is all. I do not understand why you feel the need to insult people because they do not want to give up the guns they have purchased. You think we all are paranoid and it is exhausting for you. People like you exhaust me. Because you think you have a right to tell some one else how they should think and how they should live. Just because some people do not agree with you doesn't make them wrong or hate filled. You are the one that seems to have no understanding of anyone else views. You just said yourselve that it won't save anyones life. But meeting force with force will save lives. Nut jobs will still get the guns they want because we know they don't do things normally. On the other hand I do understand your fear of what might happen next. People that own these types of guns have valid reason for owning them. You just don't see things the way they do. If you start banning types of guns the next thing you like minded individuals will be saying is we can prevent more killings if we just add this gun or that gun to the list of banned weapons. What if there was something you enjoyed doing like shooting guns at targets and some one wanted to ban what ever you enjoyed. Don't you think you would get upset? Try to look at this issue from both sides. You do know that this kind of sickness in the world is not going to stop because you banned a gun. Sick individuals will just use a different object to get the attention they seem to need. Maybe it will be a bomb which would kill so many more. You just have to protect yourselve and others the best way you can by fighting fire with fire.

AMEN...... Ex-Marine, Ex-Police Officer... the ACLU turned the nuts loose, the courts allow the killers to remain on the streets. You want my gun(S)... Pry my dead, cold fingers from around it!!! Semper-Fi...

Debbie... your too ignorant to reply too... So I won't. I own two guns for self protection... I am not against people owning guns for that purpose as long as they aren't battlefield intended weapons. Come off of your soapbox your acting ridiculous. You are the one that needs to take a long look on both sides and see that people are flawed and need to have limits. If you disagree lets open the drinking/smoking age to the day of birth, take down the speed limit signs, and in your case give everybody a free gun market to buy whatever weapon device they can afford... you have 10 million dollars here have a nuclear warhead,.. smh

I have a right to protect my family. When the President gives up the Security Service protection for his family, I may consider giving up my guns.

I hope you all feel better about yourself making these arguments. Lets change or make new laws that wont change anything for an entire population of law abiding gun owners since a few nut jobs who go off the deep end. The Bushmaster is such a "scary" looking gun it just has to be banned. Who do you think the only people who will have it be if that happens. Please step out of your bubble and join us in the real world.

Years ago I was an avid rabbit hunter. We would always use the phrase
" He didn't have a rabbits chance" when some body would have bad luck. Under today,s gun standards, I would accept a rabbits chance! You see when we hunted rabbits, by law you had to have a plug in your gun, you were limited to three shells in a semi-automatic shotgun. Today we are up against 30 to 100 rounds. Now if your answer is Rabbits don't shoot back, your missing the point!!

the president says we don't need an armed guard in school.Armed guards protect his kids . Are they more important then our kids. will he give up his armed (with assault weapons)guards. He can be protected But we cant protect our self makes you go hummmm.

Leroy you aren't the only one needing a strong dose of perspective... I have heard many people make this claim, and the only conclusion I can come up with is you need to step out of your self importance and look at the big picture.The President & his family have armed security because he is our leader, commander in chief... If we are going to elect an individual to office and bestow upon that individual the responsibilities that POTUS has we better make sure we give him adequate protection because otherwise we would be replacing Presidents every week from assassinations. You are not a target... The POTUS is... See my point. You also misinterpreted the POTUS by saying he said we don't need armed guards... What he said was it is not feasible. Take one of the largest counties in our state Mecklenburg... It would take 2 million dollars a year to place well-trained armed guards at every school in that county. And by doing so you still haven't thwarted the threat... Look at Columbine they had armed guards at that school the day of the shooting, but there was nothing the guard could do... the shooters studied the guard and made sure they used an entrance the guard wasn't attending to... You forget schools have numerous exits and entrances... Are we to pay for armed guards at every entrance/window? Your talked hundreds of millions of dollars per state! All so the gun owners can have their toys (assault rifles)... I think not.

You need a dose of perspective as well.

" Look at Columbine they had armed guards at that school the day of the shooting, but there was nothing the guard could do... the shooters studied the guard and made sure they used an entrance the guard wasn't attending to... " - John

Assault rifle ban was from 1994 to 2004. Over 160 deaths at school shootings during this time. How'd that ban work out?

Your last sentence says it all... I think so.

And actually you need to do more research as there were 49 deaths in school shootings from 1994 - 2004. There have been 77 deaths since and we haven't even hit the 10 year mark yet... so your point was?

An assault rifle because of its muzzle velocity can shoot through walls and windows of schools. If a guard with a .45 or 9mm stepped out into the open against an assault weapon that guard is toast.
Assault weapons with 30 round clips have no purpose in the hands of John Q Public - especially when those very same gun owners do NOT secure those weapons from those that could get at them - due to psychological break down or just plain being a demon.
Columbine proves that "the shooters only pick on gun free zones" is wrong. Armed guards at schools provide NO ASSURANCE against someone with an assault weapon who is hell bent on killing kids.
Think about Alderman, Pine Valley, and other elementary schools right here in town. Single story, large windows........
Our "trust" in our local schools systems to protect our children is now shattered - and our children are too exposed. Do we coop them up in bullet proof buildings?
I want to think that America is better than that - that it's more secure.
But you restrict assault rifle sales and 30 round clips you can minimize the damage. IF lanza had a 9mm semi instead of the Bushmaster that principle or the counselor may have gotten to him.
But before we have this debate lets ask ourselves a question.
I believe we should see the crime scene photos from CT as gruesome as it sounds. When one sees the damages caused by weapons of this kind it leaves an indelible impression.
I'm sure the NRA would join me in this recommendation (NOT)

Vog

I am fully aware of the ban. The individuals involved did not use assault weapons but a small caliber handgun, and shotgun... they also didn't kill as many people as they could have if in fact they were able to get their hands on an modified assault weapon like the one used at Sandy Hook... My point is your not going to stop violent acts, but you may save a few people from each situation.

So first of all let's identify the cause of the issue:
Restriction on the type of caliber is not going to minimize this type of insane massacre. The individual sick in the brain to kill small children could have accomplished the same using a mere .22 caliber pistol or rifle, which can be founs easily with or without stricter gun controls. Moreover, one can make the case that an idiot like that could choose his car to kill as many children or people in a busy street.

That said, we need security staff with powerful rifles on every single 'gun free zone' institution.

That is an insult to the intelligence of those who design assault weapons. If that were true, we could save a lot of money arming our armed forces. Look at the history of the Colt revolver that caused a paradigm shift with it's 6 shot capacity.

Lets just split the country down the middle and you get to pick what side you want to live on. I'll give you one guess which one would survive and prosper and which one crumble.

Agreed!

It's time for Americans to use some common sense, and a bit of intellect. First lets cover the 2nd Amendment... probably the most out of context piece of legislation over the past 200 years. The 2nd Amendment states that the country has a right to a well regulated militia, and an individual right to bear arms. The last part is what gun owners cling to argue they have the right to bear whatever arsenal they can afford to assemble... Many gun owners have countless firearms because of this thought process. They read this last part and take out what fits their objective leaving out the meat of the amendment and it's intention. The 2nd amendment was constructed in a period of time when the newly founded United States of America did not have a proper Army to defend it's citizens from foreign threats, thus the amendment passed to arm able bodied citizens so they could defend themselves.... That's what the whole 2nd amendment was about. It was never intended for it's citizens to own semi-automatic weapons which could fire 4-6 rounds per sec. at a velocity of 3,000 ft per sec. it was not intended for citizens to be able to purchase firearms, and ammunition over a internet in a secondary market with zero background check. We have created this epidemic over the last 200 years by not amending the 2nd amendment as our culture changed... Does anyone else not feel it utterly stupid that we live under laws catered to the 18th century... Do we not have the mental faculties to adapt our laws to our evolving culture? My last point is this, being a veteran I can tell you with 100% certainty that there is absolutely zero use for AK-47, AR-15 type weapons in the homes of our neighbors, family, and friends. The people who own these guns have not received the proper training to be capable of responsibly owning such a destructive device. Don't forget these weapons are the device of choice on battlefields... They should be illegal to own, and they should be turned in immediately. That's a start. For the individuals who say it's not the gun it's the people behind the gun... Lets examine this statement for a moment... What is the only thing you can effectively do with a gun? ... Shoot a bullet out of it. You also say it's not the gun but the person behind it... well lets look at that... Only .07% of individuals who apply for gun ownership get denied... So your telling me that 99.93% of American Citizens applying have the mental capacity to own a weapon and we can't limit the weapons meant for battlefields because that would be "Unconstitutional"...???...??? You can't take a 200 year old piece of legislation (taken out of context), and pair that with the ability to own war machines, and hand them out legally to 99.93% of the population who wants them... I'm sorry your incapable of proper intelligence if you think otherwise.

So what happens if we end up in a situation where our government turns tyrannical? Or if our homeland gets invaded? Do you want to be defending your homeland from invaders with a bolt action 30-06 deer rifle that will only hold 5 shells? I dont. I think that's a good enough reason for me to have high capacity, high fire rate, semi automatic rifles. As for the tougher background checks, I totally agree. Hell, if it were my way, anyone who was trying to buy a weapon with a capacity higher than 10 would get a full psychiatric screen plus the background check.
On a final note, I've got several ar15s and ak47s, and if I had to choose to get shot with any of my guns, it would be one of those. The bullet would go straight through you with a low chance of fragmentation. That is how they are designed to perform. A .22 is wayyyy more dangerous in terms of lethality.
Looking forward to your response

Thank you for the reply. In the case the government turns tyrannical we are all SOL. I don't care how many guns you have you would be shooting bb's against heat seeking missiles... Tell me how that turns out for you... Also we have the largest military in the world actually 10 times larger than the next military... If someone were to attempt an invasion I'm very certain they would not get very far.

You liberal brainfarts try to take biased statistics and your logic and try to turn it into reality.. The second admendment was not meant for hunters to keep their deer rifles as Ed Rendell seems to think. Or half of the gun grabbers seem to think we should just own muskets as to when the era of the 2nd admendment was wrote and that is not the case. We are to be armed the same as the government minus the fully automatic weapons (ORIGINAL ASSAULT WEAPON)! they took care of that in 1936 which there is still a few handfull of people that due have them legally but its a long process to get. I own an ar-15 it doesnt jump out of my window and shoot somebody. It is no different than my bolt action rifle or my handgun i carry on a daily basis. ar-15 ak-47 and any other semi auto rifle, shotgun, or handgun, is NOT an assault weapon IN THE RIGHT HANDS OF A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN! It is only deemed so when a individual uses a gun in the wrong manner. Then it doesnt matter what type of weapon is used. Anything can be used as a weapon. Why do you sheep have to segregate one type of weapon. If you dont like it dont buy it. Way i see it. If you want to question me why i bought one only thing i can tell you is its none of your business. It was my choice. Just like me buying a chevy and you buying a Prius. The second amendment was not written to pick what guns we were allowed to have. And a little of intelligence for you John an ar-15 is not a battlefield weapon. They are meirly a look alike do not function the same. Go google it. But if our crooked government ever decided to take our rights away it would atleast give us a fighting chance. Im one that will not stand and lose my rights as a free law abiding citizen. I dont depend on my government and somewhere along the lines people have forgotten that or have had to much smoke blown up where the sun doesnt shine. I think any politician that took an oath to uphold the constitution and trying to change laws as they see fit on any amendment should lose there jobs. Every law they pass to control us does NOTHING to stop the bad in this world, everyone say this with me BECAUSE CRIMINALS DONT CARE ABOUT LAWS! You go after the source! Not the tools and not the innocent. I will agree with you on one thing though. It is too easy for somebody to obtain a gun. I cant say for myself because my name or ssn is close to an individual with a record so im delayed for hours to a day. More stricter background checks and mental illness checks need to be improved. Private sell needs to be done away with and loopholes at gunshows need to be addressed and thats it. That would be a start and local law authorities need to look more into convicted felons in there area to see if they have weapons illegaly. Almost all crimes committed with a gun were criminals to start with, mental and stole a gun, werent legally allowed to have one in the first place. There is alot of cases of self defense cases and justifiable homicides this year from people legaly carrying you just need to look for them considering it doesnt meet your national telivised news channels agendas. There is your common sense brother!

Amen a person with a brain. Here is your sign. Ha

Wow Ronnie your a very angry person... Tell me when was the last time a convicted felon committed Mass Murder? I'll answer that one for you... It's never happened. So there is no detection as to who would be a threat! You have to realize as a responsible gun owner as you claim to be that certain guns should not be available to the public, to limit what these undetected evil individuals may do... Can you imagine the carnage that would have unfolded at Columbine High School if those two young men had access to a modified AR-15 With a muzzle designed to fire at a velocity of 3,000 ft per sec. and the capacity to fire 4-6 rounds per sec such as the AR-15 used in the theatre shooting or Sandy Hook? A lot more people would have died. But since this happened during an assault weapon ban they were not able to acquire one... read their journals... they tried!! See the point now?

The argument that the 2nd amendment was not intended to include modern firearms is no less absurd than claiming that the 1st amendment was not intended to include modern technologies. Under this claim, our right to post our opinions on this very web site should not be covered. We should be left to write a physical letter to the editor of a newspaper, in hopes that it would actually be printed, or go gather at the town hall to express our opinions.

Further, the supreme court has upheld that the 2nd amendment is a "right of the people" not a "right of the militia".

Whether you believe your neighbor has a "need" for an item, be it an assault rifle or otherwise, is irrelevent in a free society. To ban an item you must show that it's possesion significantly endangers the person or property of others within society. When making this argument, be sure to keep things in perspective. Contrast the rate of assault weapons ownership and use in crimes and death with other products on the market, like automobiles. For both gross and population adjusted values, the death rate is higher than for firearms, let alone assault weapons. Is their really a need for you or your neighbor to own a sports car, designed to exceed the legal speed limit, especially when you consider that a third of all traffic fatalities are related to excessive speed (and what criminal wants a slow get-away car). Wouldn't we save more lives by banning sports cars? Or should concede that if people want to speed, they will. Conceding this, why would we curtail the rights of law abiding citizens in their choice of automobile. We accept that there will be some who will abuse their freedom and speed, and that in some cases this abuse will have devastatng results.

Killers will seek to kill, with or without assault weapons (assuming you could actually get rid of them). Please stop advocating the removal of this individual liberty from law abiding citizens. Doing so will not save lives or reduce crime rates, gun-control law history in our country has shown this. Banning fully automatic weapons (real assault weapons) 27 years ago has not kept them out of the hands of criminals. Banning their semi-automatic cousins will be no more effective.

Thank you very well put.

Hello Joe,

I stand behind my assessment of the 2nd amendment and will continually state that the whole amendment should be regarded not just one bit... I don't see the effectiveness of using words out of context to fit a point. I look at the entirety. Your arguments are ridiculous, and completely irrelevant so I won't even comment on those but I will comment on your last paragraph... I never stated removing all fire arms just the ones designed for battlefields. Also another nugget of information for you to chew on... in the 1990's we had an assault rifle ban. There occurred a school shooting at a high school called Columbine... Go read the journals of the two men who carried out the mass murder there... Tell me what weapons they were so desperately trying to get their hands on but they were banned at the time... so they had to settle for what they could get their hands on... and shotgun, and a small caliber hand gun... They killed 13 people imagine how many they could have killed with a modified AR-15 with a muzzle velocity rated at 3,000 ft per sec which has the capacity to fire 4-6 rounds per sec... A lot more than 13 people would have died if indeed they were able to access the weapon of their choice. You see criminals don't commit mass murder... only unassuming, lonely, disenfranchised individuals do that so their are zero detection devices to find the threats. Also it's not about removing personal liberties but having common sense and limiting the capacity to kill.... and I rest my case.

You are obviously not very well educated and extreamily liner minded because most of your above statement has no concept of the fact that our founding father's put the 2nd amendment in the constitution so that if tyrants like you ever get elected into public office and started i don't know, over taxing us, oppressing us, taking any of the liberties that we are guarantted by our birth right as american citizens,.....yeah the 2nd amendment is there so that if a person like you ever got elected and tried any of that communist bull crap we could shoot you on the spot because we swore as citizens to protect and defend our constitution from all enemies and especially dommesticated communist enemies who should be thrown in prison for even daring to attempt to suggest that our rights be stripped away. Shame on you! I wish I knew where your mother was buried so I could spit on her grave and curse the day she gave birth to such an anti-american snot nosed communist punk like you. Get heck out of our Country,.....people like you are scum go spread you cancerous left wing propaganda somewhere else you disgusting little brat!

I didn't want to comment to your hate filled unintelligent "Bull Crap"... But I will.... I served this country for four years I did my time, and was honorably discharged Sarge! People such as yourself will never compromise because your head is so far up your rear end your smelling new years collard greens. You have no intellect to understand the constitution much less claim to be an expert. I bet you believe God wrote the bible too... Sorry you won't be able to spit on my mother's grave because she isn't in one.

Many of us are using our brains. The second amendment is just as important today and means the same thing as it did when written. The authors had the foresight to look ahead many years and see that our government could become opressive and citizens would need the means to defend themselves. My personal feelings are that any citizen, who has never been convicted of a felony involving a firearm, should have the right to posess any type weapon that he/she wants. If the time ever comes when citizens must fight against a well armed government, military type assault weapons will be much more effective than single shot .22 rifles. People with ideas like yours are very, very dangerous. I seriously doubt if you are a military veteran, as your opinion would be considerably different.

We should be able to own ANY type of firearm because of our 2d amendment rights? Bazookas? RPG's? Anti-aircraft? Any caliber? You may as well say we all should have the right to drive our cars at whatever speed we want, and anyone who wants to drive slower better just get off the road. People with these ideas are not dangerous. People with broken brains and ridiculously easy access to highly efficient, well designed and effective killing machines are dangerous. No hunter in his or her right mind is going to hunt with a bushmaster rifle. We have no more need for these than we do for personal armoured tanks or anthrax. If we had the stomach of Australia, which I doubt because paranoia and fear is rampant here, we would be able to reign these 10,000 murders and 15,000 suicides in and still keep farmers and hunters and law abiding citizens happy. How many children have to die every year for us to feel free?