Gun sales at Barrow's
Trading Post in Quechee have increased dramatically since the school shootings
in Newtown, Conn.
"Our politicians have
scared people who are not gun owners into purchasing a gun," owner Wayne
Barrow has owned the shop
for 25 years. He says the recent debate surrounding stiffer gun control laws
does not get to the heart of the issue.
"What is someone
going to pass that is going to change a person thinking in that mentality to
stop doing what they are doing?" Barrows asked. "Does it stop them
from making a bomb on the internet and doing the same thing?"
But President Obama does
want new laws, which he outlined in a speech Wednesday. Banning assault rifles
and high-capacity magazines are among them. Obama also wants a universal
background check implemented, which he says would close loopholes at gun shows.
"There are millions
of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish the right to bear
arms for hunting or sport or protection or collection," the president
said. "I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second
Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, lawbreaking few from inflicting harm
on a massive scale."
But it is clear that
passing any reform will be a challenge.
Republican New Hampshire
Senator Kelly Ayotte released the following statement: "I am concerned
that many of his proposals infringe on the rights of law-abiding firearm
owners, which will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining
and misusing firearms to commit violence."
It's a battle that will
start in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Senator Patrick
Leahy. He spoke Wednesday morning about the agenda for the 113th Congress, and
gun laws are on the list.
"As President Obama
has made clear, no single step can end this kind of violence. But the fact that
we cannot do everything that could help should not paralyze us from doing
anything that can help," said Leahy, D-Vermont.
Back at Barrow's, a gun
owner we spoke with supports at least one part of Obama's proposal-- a
universal background check.
"I've sold some guns
at a gun show. And people will just come up to you. I mean, I could have a hand
gun in my hand and somebody could buy it from me that I don't even know,"
said Mario Maura of South Woodstock.
But Maura went on to say
that he believes society as a whole needs to take some responsibility when it
comes to mass shootings that are becoming more and more common.
"Every video game is
a shoot 'em up thing. And all the movies these days are all violent. I think
that has more to do with it than a size of a magazine or an automatic
weapon," Maura said.
"It's just a matter
of politicians getting people off the phone and saying we've done something.
That is all they are doing," Barrows said.
Leahy says the Judiciary
Committee will begin hearings on gun laws in two weeks, which, Leahy says, will
be an open forum for a constructive discussion.
Obama also signed 23
executive orders Wednesday, some of which are designed to target mental health.
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