GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - After the shooting, people once again started debating the role of guns in America.
Some of the questions include: should congress pass laws putting more restrictions in place? Should lawmakers relax restrictions?
After narrowing down all of the comments on that Facebook post, these were the ones that generated a lot of conversation.
1. Why do civilians, not in the military, have the option to purchase multi-round magazines and assault style guns that can be converted to automatic style weapons? Why are adaptor kits legal?
2. Can we amend the second amendment to keep handguns, hunting rifles but stopping manufacture and sale of with weapons of mass destruction?
3. What will you do to remove restrictions placed upon law abiding citizens? In Las Vegas it would not have helped but in many other instances law abiding people with access to firearms have stopped violent crimes from happening.
4. What is the problem with a registry of people too dangerous to own weapons? I have Bipolar II and I have promised my children I will never own or allow myself access to a firearm because of it. I would gladly place myself on a no gun allowed list.
In response to the first question, this is what U.S. Senator (D-MI) Gary Peters said:
"Certainly this will be something that is going to be debated and hopefully we will have a full discussion about it."
The second question -- can we amend the second amendment? Peters said, yes it is possible.
"Well you can always change an amendment. Changing a constitutional amendment is not an easy process though, it takes a great deal of time. The option is to look at some other things that are common sense that we can do, that are fully constitutional within the second amendment. We do require background checks now, but unfortunately there are big loopholes that still allow people to buy these weapons, in fact roughly 40 percent of all sales are done without any kind of background check," Peters said.
Peters, a gun owner himself, says there needs to be common sense regulation.
"We need to have some common sense oversight of that process which means universal background checks or at least we look at individuals, whether or not they have a criminal background or some other aspect would prevent them from having a firearm. But, certainly law abiding citizens who pass background checks are free to purchase those weapons."
The last question:
"Certainly those kinds of actions, put yourself on a 'no-gun allowed' list would come up if we had universal background checks, before a weapon is purchased - there's some sort of check on that individual. It's common sense, the vast majority of the American people support that and I think it's time for us, given the fact that we've got over 90 people every single day who die as a result of gun violence, that we're willing to find common sense ways to try to reduce that number," Peters said.
WZZM 13 started brainstorming about how to report on the gun issue during the editorial news meeting Tuesday.
Our station reached out to all of our lawmakers to give them time to respond.
Congressman Justin Amash, and Senator Debbie Stabenow did not provide us with answers to your questions or give us a statement about what, if anything, congress could do in response to the violence. We'll let you know if they do. We did speak with Representative Huizenga's office - they are still working on providing answers to those questions.
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