JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Rifle Association is speaking out for the first time since the deadly massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Thursday, the NRA called for new regulations on bump stocks, a device that rapidly accelerates a weapon’s rate of speed.
The FBI says Stephen Paddock used such a device to turn his semi-automatic guns into a fully-automatic gun. According to law enforcement, a dozen bump stocks were found in the shooter's hotel room.
In the wake of the shooting, First Coast News went out Thursday to start an open conversation with residents in the beach community and discuss gun control laws.
Within an hour, about 15 people sat down and shared their opinions:
“The second amendment was not really written for the way it's interpreted now and that to me is the tragedy of the whole thing,” Janice Jefferys said. “Every time there’s a tragedy, we say we’re going to do something about it, but it’s not the time to address it now, but it is the time to address it.”
“I feel like the government is trying to protect us, but at the same time monitor us, control us, and I don’t think some people want to hear the word control after gun control,” Mary Burke said. “I don’t think just because some people make certain mistakes that everyone should be banned.”
“I think different opinions can really help us come to a conclusion about it,” said 14-year-old Evan Hamman, “so we can develop a stronger idea or opinion on what we think should happen if we see both sides.”
“I don’t believe that they should be able to have them in schools and churches, so I just think there needs to be more regulation, but I do think owning a gun is part of our constitutional rights,” said Evan’s mother, Kristin Hamman.
“It’s happened about ten times since I’m here,” said Rifka Cholakan, who moved to the United States from Turkey. “Every time it’s happened [they say] let’s talk about it someday, then okay, it’s not the right time now, and then the week passes and no one talks about, that’s it, it’s gone. So it is the time.”