FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — We spoke with local lawmakers about what can be done to stop mass shootings in our country.
“I think now more than ever thoughts and prayers are great, but we need to take action and this is way past due,” Sen. Kirk DeViere (D) said.
“I’m not sure that tougher gun laws is really the answer,” Rep. John Szoka (R) said. “A lot of the problems we have in this country is people’s mental status.”
Army soldier Joshua Holtsberg brought his family to Jim’s Pawn Shop Monday to buy a gun.
“I’m working on getting a concealed carry permit so that way I can have some home protection, and just protect my family and my little one whenever we’re out shopping at the local Walmart,” Holtsberg said.
The El Paso Walmart was the scene of one of the latest mass shootings in our country, fueled by what President Trump said was racism.
“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate,” President Trump said. “In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
Szoka says more gun control isn’t the answer, but rather investing in mental health programs.
“It’s never good to see people who are mentally unstable take innocent lives,” Szoka said. “I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m certainly willing to have an open discussion with anybody who’s willing to discuss it with me and maybe we can make things better.”
“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” President Trump said.
Lawmakers are caught up in figuring out the best way to move forward.
“Trying to identify these people before they act so that we can stop them before they act in this senseless loss of life,” Szoka said.
Deviere says state lawmakers need to talk about the gun control bills already on the table, instead of pushing them to the side.
“What we need to have more than ever now is to set aside the partisanship and let’s have a conversation about what we can do to protect our citizens, protect our children and ensure the rights of gun owners are protected as well,” DeViere said.
“I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m certainly willing to have an open discussion with anybody who’s willing to discuss it with me and maybe we can make things better,” Szoka said.
We also spoke with firearms instructors about the latest mass shootings.
“Unfortunately people have been hurting people since the dawn of time and they’re going to find a way to do it,” Range Manager Tony Jacobs said.
“There’s not enough being done for mental health,” Geary Chlebus said. “It is not gun control, it’s more of a mental health (issue).”
North Carolina lawmakers will meet at the General Assembly Tuesday to drum up support for several gun control measures on the table.
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