East Texans Weigh In On SCOTUS Ruling - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/26/08

East Texans Weigh In On SCOTUS Ruling

Texas lawmakers are praising a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States today, confirming your right to own guns for self defense and hunting.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the high court shot down a 32-year old handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

KLTV 7's Courtney Lane sheds light on what many call a victory for freedom, but others warn could only bring deadly consequences.

The ruling sends a strong message that Americans have a Constitutional right to protect themselves.

"I was happy to see that the Supreme Court had finally come out with a definitive definition of that being an individual right."

Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel says Texas has some of the best gun laws in place.

He adds that he believes a handgun ban like the one shot down in our nation's capitol today only makes the streets more dangerous.

"It doesn't work. It's no different than in Japan 2 weeks ago. There was a man who went crazy, ran his truck into a group of people, got out and stabbed several of them to death. They have the most stringent gun laws in the world there. What you have to deal with, is we have plenty gun laws on the books now. We need to enforce them a little better, is what we need to do."

But, others disagree, like D.C. resident Shanda Smith, who already lost 2 kids to gun violence.

"What's going to happen? Mothers are going to be lined up in cemeteries, putting flowers on their childrens' graves."

Many Texas lawmakers are applauding the high court's decision.

Congressman Louie Gohmert, says "it will guarantee second amendment rights for East Texans."

"Texans have always cherished this right," says Senator John Cornyn, preserving the freedom to defend our homes and families, and East Texas gun owners agree.

"It's a tool. It's a hammer for a carpenter," said Will Lee. "You just have to respect what you're using and keep yourself safe and the people around you safe."

"It does not cut down on crime because the criminals are always going to get them," David Egerstaffer.

"Gun prohibition won't work. It's not the weapon itself no more than it is the car that a DWI drives. It's the person and you have to deal with the person not the object," said Chief Daniel.

"So while it's a landmark victory to many, handgun restrictions in other cities will now face legal challenges.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the the ruling would not affect laws that ban felons and the mentally ill from owning guns, or prohibit people from carrying guns in sensitive places like schools and government buildings.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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