Right to bear arms hot-button topic amidst crime locally and nationally
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The shootings at the Colorado movie theater and the rash of violence in Mid-Michigan are again making guns a hot-button issue.
People are on both sides of the fence, some calling for the eradication of guns, others saying it'd be a terrible idea to take away a constitutional right.
Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said the number of people inquiring about concealed pistol licenses are on the rise. On Monday, he had two people in his office, and in the past three years, he has had several apply for a CPL.
"People are concerned about the political climate, the world today, here in Michigan, but especially at the national level about whether or not their rights will be restricted from carrying concealed pistols," explained Sheriff Federspiel.
He believes people have the right to bear arms. One Saginaw County resident recently got her CPL. She said she never thought she would, but said she got the license because it is a safety feature she can't pass up.
"I decided maybe I needed to protect myself and my property, so my husband Ron and I took lessons, so I applied for a gun permit, and I'm sure I'm going to feel more safe," said Ellen Ryder-Petre.
But others are on the other side of the fence. Bobbie Sowell-Buford's two grandchildren were killed on Saturday in a Saginaw shooting. She said that she would like to see guns off the streets entirely.
"We fight against the violence, against the guns, I personally am against guns, because I know what guns will do," said Sowell-Buford.
But Sheriff Federspiel disagrees. He believes there could be room for changes, but doesn't think it would be smart to abolish guns entirely.
"I don't think eliminate it all together is a good way to look at it, I think it's a knee-jerk reaction, but if you want to look at the process, then I'm all for it, let's look at the process and make sure we have the right one in place," said Federspiel.
Federspiel said it might be a smart move to look at mental health issues before CPL's are granted, but doesn't know the logistical problems behind that.
Copyright WNEM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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