Colo. Tragedy Ignites Local Debate over Gun Control Laws

| July 23, 2012 | 0 Comments | News

The Colorado theater shootings sparked debate over gun control laws. While some people carry weapons to defend themselves and others, some in Virginia worry the state does not do enough to investigate gun owners.

Tragic events, like that which occurred in Aurora, Colorado, encourage people to talk about gun control, and if stricter gun control laws could prevent such massacres from occurring in the future.

In and around Bristow, citizens seem split on the issue of gun control. While some people said they believe Virginia should place more restrictions on its sale of firearms, others believe in the benefits of an armed citizenry.

Those who would like to see stricter gun control laws want the state to take added precaution before approving gun sales.

“The conventional wisdom is we have one of the more liberal gun control policies,” said Mark Reiter of Warrenton. “I would like to see more of a waiting period.”

On average it takes only 30 minutes to be approved to buy a gun in Virginia, since that is how long the background check takes.

“Crimes of passion, suicide, these are done impulsively,” said Reiter, who thinks a longer waiting period could deter such crimes.

Others were especially concerned that guns were being sold to people who might not be of sound minds. Such individuals could use the guns to hurt themselves or others.

Julio Denegri, vendor at Smart Markets Farmers market in Bristow, said he would like to see the Commonwealth make it more difficult for a person who suffers from a mental illness to obtain a weapon. He suggested the state require psychological testing for gun owners.

Shelby Biancaniello of Bristow held a similar opinion.

“I don’t think any old Joe should have a gun. I think that is what’s causing all of these problems,” Biancaniello said.

However, others residents said that the gun laws in the state should not be changed. By and large these individuals believe that armed citizens deter criminals and can help protect other innocent civilians from dangerous armed criminals.

“It’s for protection,” said Jessie Saadon of Nokesville, “Everyone has the right to protect themselves. If they are criminals, they are going to get them (guns) illegally.”

Pablo Tedoro of Nokesville also wants less gun control in the state.

“I would have given my life to take that guy down (in Colorado),” Tedoro said.

He noted that he used to be against guns, but then he thought about how quickly something could happen. He feels that most people who carry guns in Virginia are doing so to protect themselves and others. He also disagreed that any system could accurately determine who was “crazy” or a threat to society.

Delegate Rich Anderson of Virginia’s 51st District has a similar point of view.

“My feeling is in Virginia our laws are just about right,” Anderson said.

First and foremost he said he takes a constructionist perspective to the Constitution, including preserving second amendment rights.

While he said there are places that should be absolutely gun-free, such as K-12 schools, he believes that armed citizens can help intervene in a crime, save lives and prevent tragedies like that which occurred in Colorado.

Recently Anderson made it easier for gun owners to purchase more than one gun a month in Virginia by supporting Delegate Scott Ligamfelter’s proposal to repeal an older law that prevented Virginia guns from being sold illegally outside of the state.

He said his faith in the current background check helped him to vote to repeal that law, which was approved by the General Assembly. However, he would like the General Assembly to be mindful if old issues resurface in light of the new legislation.

Residents who live further in the country said they felt they had to protect their families as the police could take a long time to arrive at their homes.

Everyone agreed that owning gun is a big responsibility not to be taken lightly that includes proper training and storage of firearms.




© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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