Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

January 24, 2013

Locals weigh in on gun debate

By CHRIS AGEE

More than a month after a deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, individual citizens and legislators alike continue to discuss measures that might prevent such tragedies in the future.

A bipartisan proposal presented Tuesday to the Texas State Legislature would allow local schools to set up special taxing districts to raise money for security, provided voters support the measure.

Local residents were divided on which actions, if any, government should take to promote safety in schools and in general society.

Local Vietnam War veteran and gun rights activist Gene Long said he doesn't necessarily believe all schools should have armed security, though he feels every school should be vigilant in providing a safe environment.

"Armed guards at the school is not the solution," he said. "I'm thinking an aggressive attitude; lock all the doors but one."

Other residents, including Becky Plumlee, noted the cause of gun violence is the same as any crime – an intentional act by an individual.

"Guns are not the problem," she said. "I don't know how to solve it; it's people. Guns don't shoot themselves."

She said individuals capable of committing multiple murders obviously have underlying problems that should be addressed, though she admitted that is a difficult proposition.

When an individual displays unusual behavior, Plumlee said it could be a sign of a deeper issue or just a harmless personality trait.

"Do you just start jumping on them?" she asked.

Long pointed out information compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation showing guns are not among the top tools used to kill in America.

"More people are killed by hammers," he said, adding far more still are killed by someone else's bare hands.

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