Locals mixed on gun orders
Local residents are offering their opinions on the stricter gun control recommendations the White House released Wednesday.
President Obama introduced a proposal that, according to information on the White House website, includes measures such as strengthening background checks, passing a more aggressive assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition to 10 rounds per magazine, pushing for more counselors in schools and enhancing coverage of mental health services for young people.
Tom Nesbitt, of Beverly, weighed in.
“I should (be allowed to) have a gun to protect myself,” he said.
Nesbitt was vocal about equality for all citizens. He told the Inter-Mountain that citizens outside of government should have same rights as those in government, that no person or group should have special treatment.
He also said gun control laws could quickly turn into a slippery slope, where the abolition of assault weapons could soon become an abolition of all guns.
“Once it starts,” he said, “(more aggressive legislation) is coming.”
David Barb, of Elkins, was straightforward in his response.
“No semi-automatics,” he said. “I think that’s a good idea.”
Barb mentioned that the right to bear arms is important, but he said assault-style weapons aren’t necessary.
Tina Shreve, also of Elkins, opined her opposition to legislation that would entirely take guns away from ordinary citizens.
“I don’t like it,” she said. “We should be able to have guns.”
However, like Barb, Shreve said she was in favor of laws that would limit the sale of assault rifles.
Residents were largely concerned with the government intruding on their personal rights and stepping into their private lives.
In line with the other respondents, Pam Smithson said she believes it’s important for people to be able to protect themselves.
“I truly believe in being able to defend your property and yourself,” she said.
Smithson also spoke about laws that would help people with mental illnesses. She said having access to psychological help is important and should work in tandem with any gun legislation.
“There are other ways to prevent (tragedies),” she said, noting that laws controlling the sale of certain weapons aren’t the only answer.
Contact Casey Houser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.