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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.


Comment on this Story


    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…

  • John

    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

  • John

    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?

  • John

    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.

  • jj

    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.

  • Vog46

    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)


  • John

    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.

  • Guest CommonTater

    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.

  • Guest123234

    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.

  • Mr.T

    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!!

  • leroy reid

    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.

  • John

    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.

  • Debbie

    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.

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