The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has spurred the debate on gun regulations once again across the U-S. But this time there is a movement not only by those in government but also the business world and it may stick. For a decade, the U-S had a ban on assault rifles and statistic show that gun-related crimes were reduced. But that ban expired in two-thousand and four and assault rifles were again available for purchase. Now, the gun that was used in Newtown would not have been part of the assault rifle ban but it has all the characteristics of those weapons that were affected by the ban. I am not for the government taking away any rights but I am for a sensible approach to firearms. There is a reason that hand grenades are illegal – they can be used to kill a lot of people in a few seconds. But they are for military use. Assault rifles are very similar in application. They are not used for hunting or any other purpose other than extreme protection and aggression. And I am yet to hear of a private citizen using an assault rifle to stop a crime. High capacity magazines need to be included in this movement as well. And right alongside that, we, as a community, need to address mental illness by increasing resources for families affected and by reducing the stigma so people will seek help. This need has many faces that must be addressed. It will make for a safer America and for a Better East Texas.
Editors Note: Since this story aired, we received several e-mails from viewers regarding this topic. Some of these letters can be found by following the links below.