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Gun control debate reaches Southport

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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.

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