By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – President Barack Obama last week announced 23 executive actions he will take in hopes of addressing the problem of gun violence in America.
He also encouraged lawmakers to work on laws that will limit military-style weapons and high-capacity ammo clips available to the public.
In response to an open invitation from the Daily Journal, readers responded with their opinions of these actions.
While opinions varied, one recurring theme was the lack of real conversation in the argument over gun safety and gun rights.
“It seems all the issues I hear on television are extremist viewpoints and there is no, ‘Let’s sit down and talk about the problem we have,’” said Fritz Crytzer, 64, of Pontotoc. “There is the guy who said it’s going to be 1776 all over again – that’s extreme – and the other side saying if we don’t do something, everyone in the United State is going to get shot – that’s extreme, too.”
Reed Martz, 34, an Oxford attorney specializing in Second Amendment law, agreed people aren’t coming to the issue of guns with the intention of listening.
“I’m a diehard Second Amendment supporter but I would love to welcome a discussion,” he said. “I think that the NRA meeting with Joe Biden was complete show. Joe Biden didn’t listen to anything they had to say and I’m sure they already had their opinions about Mr. Biden.”
Martz said maybe we can reduce gun violence and protect liberties but we first we really have to sit down and figure it out.
Chris Miller, 22, of Verona, said gun laws aren’t going to matter when it comes to violence.
“Even with stricter gun laws, people will find other ways to get guns and those who are mentally unstable will find other means of committing murder,” he said. “Unless people change, violence will continue to increase.”
Rodney Yielding, 47, of Fulton, echoed that those committing gun crimes are already breaking the laws.
“There are more than 21,000 gun laws already on the books,” he said. “Has that stopped anyone from killing? No. I can’t see where adding gun laws will help. We need to start doing a better job enforcing the laws we have.”
Martz agreed enforcement of current laws is an important part of the conversation, probably more important than gun models and magazine limitations.
“If my magazine can hold 200 rounds, it’s not going to make a bit of difference because my magazine is not involved in crime and will never be involved in crime,” he said. “Let’s really figure it all out. Let’s enforce the laws we have and do it better. Let’s beef up background check databases and get people with mental disabilities and domestic abuse protection orders on that list.”