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What has happened to our nation? Why has gun violence gotten so out of control? Is it the lack of prayer, federal laws that are way too lenient, a lack of parental control â€“ what could it be?
Whatever it is that is causing an increase in gun violence it is also causing the federal government to pay much closer attention and has prompted federal officials to take immediate action before incidents of gun violence escalate beyond the control of authorities.
All this week Vice-President Joe Biden has been promoting the White Houseâ€™s gun control plan, which includes putting a ban on all assault weapons, requiring backgrounds checks on all individuals wanting to purchase a firearm, providing more access to mental health facilities and increasing resource officers and security in schools.
White House officials believe this is a surefire plan to deter gun violence, but some local citizens like Larry Hyde weighed in on the governmentâ€™s steps on the issue, disapproving some of the measures federal officials want to put in place.
â€śFirst of all the problem is not the gun; the problem is the person who has the gun,â€ť Hyde said. â€śTaking away the guns from the good people is not the answer because the criminal is going to get the gun so Iâ€™m against what (the government) is trying to do â€“ 100 percent against it.â€ť
Hyde said heâ€™s never in his life purchased a gun but is not against anyone who wants to purchase one, especially when break-ins and other crimes against humans have dramatically increased over the last few years.
â€śIf somebody breaks into my house and tries to do something thatâ€™s going to harm my family what I am supposed to do?â€ť he said. â€śI mean Iâ€™m not going to hurt anybody if I donâ€™t have to, but if it comes down to my daughter and whoever it is breaking into my house to do harm, I mean, what would you do?â€ť
Hyde said the answer to gun violence is putting the Lord back into the schools, back into governmental meetings, back into the White House and back into the homes of America. He said if people would follow the last six of the Ten Commandments that deal with man-to-man interactions the nation and the world would be much more peaceful and criminal activity would drop drastically.
On the subject of allowing school teachers and other school personnel to have guns at school to protect students, both Hyde and West Point resident Lalia Clemons disagreed.
â€śI think itâ€™s a sad day when you even have to make a decision about that,â€ť Hyde said. â€śThey shouldnâ€™t even have to have guns in the classrooms. We shouldnâ€™t even have to have security officers at schools. Back when I was going to school we didnâ€™t know anything about all that stuff. We were kids, and we did things that werenâ€™t right, but we didnâ€™t think about hurting anybody or killing anybody. It wasnâ€™t even in your mind.â€ť
Clemons said she doesnâ€™t feel school staff should be allowed to have guns in the classroom for fear of what the end results could be.
â€śIf somebody really wants to get in that school theyâ€™re going to do it,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™d be afraid a student may get mad at the teacher and take the gun away from him. Plus where are you going to put the gun? I donâ€™t think they should do it unless the teachers are well-trained. The day that shooting happened (in Connecticut) I called the school to check on my grandson. Those kids didnâ€™t have a chance; they just didnâ€™t have a chance. I cried and cried all day when that happened. Sometimes things like that happen for a reason. Maybe everybody needs to wake up.â€ť
But Clemons said she does stand behind Vice-President Biden and President Barack Obama in their plans to decrease gun violence in the nation and supports the government providing law enforcement with more tools to stops criminal gun activity.
â€śSomething for hunting and protection â€“ I think thatâ€™s fine, but just donâ€™t let it get in the hands of criminals and places where they have a lot of violence,â€ť Clemons said. â€śI think there should be more patrol to get these guns off the streets. I think the gun salesmen who donâ€™t do a background check on people should be held responsible.â€ť