Local sales brisk in wake of gun restriction proposals

(CNN image)

(CNN image)

(WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL) — President Barack Obama’s proposals for new gun restrictions weren’t popular at an area gun shop on Wednesday, but they sure didn’t slow down gun sales.

Employees at Colfax Gun and Ammo in Colfax said that sales have been booming ever since Obama started calling for firearms restrictions in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“He’s our number one salesman,” said Rodney Whicker, an employee of the gun shop, speaking of Obama.

Whicker and others said that more gun restrictions would only make life harder for law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to stop criminals.

“My son is 15 and has been shooting since he was 5,” Whicker said. “I carry concealed and my wife carries concealed. Law-abiding citizens aren’t going to cause trouble, but we have the right to protect ourselves.”

Obama is asking Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, along with other provisions such as more officers in schools and better programs to identify mental illness.

Mark Crum, an employee of Colfax Gun and Ammo, said that the administration is just “playing politics.”

“They can ban guns until the cows come home, and it is not going to stop any of these mass shootings,” Crum said.

Crum did agree that more proficient background checks and better mental health treatment are needed.

But he also said that parents shouldn’t let their children spend hours on end playing video games that involve killing people. To Crum, those games desensitize children to the reality of what damage a gun can cause. Real life isn’t like a video game where you can hit the reset button and everyone comes back to life, he said.

“We didn’t have that when I was young,” he said. “We learned about guns. We were taught about guns. We didn’t think they were special.”

Asked if some of the president’s proposals had merit, Crum said that he worries about the “slippery slope:” Where is the line, he asked between not infringing on someone’s right to have a gun and keeping a gun out of the hands of someone with a mental problem?

Crum he can’t restock the types of equipment that there’s talk of banning. There’s too much demand all over the country, he said.

“We sold everything relating to those things in one day,” Crum said. Customers “are in a feeding frenzy, buying everything they can get their hands on.”

Don Lloyd, a customer of the store who lives in Liberty, said that he’s been shooting guns since he was 7.

“Guns are one of my favorite hobbies,” he said. “The majority of people are good people. You have one in a million and it is going to ruin it for all of us.”

Lloyd said he likes the idea of having properly trained volunteers in the schools to help ensure safety.

“I would volunteer for that,” he said. “I would volunteer a day a month or something.”

Source: Winston-Salem Journal

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