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January 18, 2013

Local citizens, representatives comment on potential gun legislation

CHICKASHA — Local federal representatives voiced their opinions yesterday over whether they agreed with the president's plan to stop gun violence in the United States.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said although he supports the president's intentions he does not support his methods.

I will adamantly oppose any executive order that I believe infringes upon duly enacted laws by the Congress or on our Constitutional rights. Where I do disagree with the President is on his recommendations for laws Congress should pass," Inhofe said. "We know from experience that an assault weapons ban will have no meaningful effect on gun violence, as many of the changes that are implemented by a such a ban are cosmetic in nature. Statistics demonstrate that a ban on particular weapons will not significantly decrease crime. Such a ban will, however, significantly decrease our rights guaranteed by the Constitution."

Inhofe continued siting the president's plan as an over reaction.

"While we mourn with those who have lost loved ones, in no way should the actions of those few who act illegally impact the constitutional rights of the many,” said Inhofe.  "I will continue to strongly oppose any effort to undermine the Second Amendment and an individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms."

Congressman Tom Cole echoed the senator's sentiments.

"I will oppose any legislation to limit the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, including a ban on so-called assault weapons," Cole said. "I represent tens of thousands of responsible gun owners who safely use guns for hunting and protection, and restricting their freedom is not the solution to gun violence."

Citizens of Grady County responded to a question over the president's address on The Express-Star's Facebook yesterday with opinions that mirrored those of their elected officials.

"Most of the proposals do little more than spend money with no real results to show for the outgo," Starling Rhymes said. "Much like the TSA this is largely "security theater" designed to give the appearance of doing something. Are our airplanes safer because toddlers are being strip searched? This is much the same thing. Criminals do not obey the law... everything the Sandy Hook shooter did was already illegal. The unfortunate thing is that due to current federal law no one had the means to resist. The bottom line is the only thing that stops a madman with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Other citizens compared gun legislation to anti-drug legislation, citing both as ineffective.

 "It will increase our safety about as much as drug laws have stopped the use of drugs," Kealee Romero said.

A few respondents found some merit in the president's proposal though. Chantelle Littleton Prough said she thinks this issue will eventually lead to violence between the two schools of thought, but some action still needs to be taken.

"I do however agree with the assault rifles ban," she said. "It's been said a million times and I'll scream it from the roof tops 'guns don't kill people do!'"

The president has asked Congress to act quickly in creating new legislation that deals with gun violence in the U.S. His plan includes banning the private sale of assault weapons, limiting magazine capacity to no more than 10 bullets and increasing mental health services across the board.


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