Gun control debate back on the table after Navy Yard shooting - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Gun control debate back on the table after Navy Yard shooting

Posted: Updated:

(KYTX) - Lawmakers once again looking at gun control after the Washington D.C. attack claimed 12 lives.

Several guns have been mentioned as part of the attack. Investigators say the shooter used a shotgun, that he bought legally in Virginia.

He may have also stolen a semi-automatic handgun once he entered the building. However, investigators say the AR 15 found at the scene, was not used in the attack.

Either way, gun rights activists here in East Texas say guns are not the problem.

Congressman Louie Gohmert sits in Washington now,  just a half a mile from where investigators say 34-year-old Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people Monday.

"Senate Democrats are saying, 'See? This is why we need gun control.' This is not an issue of gun control. We keep coming back to people with mental health issues that get guns and go do crazy things with them," Gohmert says.

Alexis' father says his son suffered from PTSD, and the former Navy reservist had recently undergone treatment for mental illness, including paranoia.

"What seems to be the common thread is the mental illness," says gun owner Ben Petty.

Petty says proposed universal background checks on gun buyers won't stop the mentally ill from accessing weapons, and could lead to problems for everyone else.

"Taking guns away from normal citizens other than trying to take them out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them," he says.

Gun owner Ben Rambo agrees.

"If you look when you're buying a firearm of any type, there's a question on there, have you ever been treated for mental illness?" he points out on a form.

The problem is, it's an honor system, and few people check "Yes."

He says pattens of violent mental illness should made available to people checking backgrounds. Gohmert agrees.
    
"There ought to be a way to run that as quickly and easily as we do a criminal check," Representative Gohmert says. 

The other issue with Monday's deadly shooting is security.

"I wondered why a military base would have such lax security that something like this could happen," Rambo says.

Despite his mental problems and prior run-ins with the law over firing guns, Aaron Alexis still had full security clearance to work as a defense contractor at the navy yard.

"We have got to do a better job of policing the military and the contractors that serve the military," Gohmert says.

Representative Gohmert also tells CBS 19 he believes military personnel should be allowed to carry weapons on bases. Right now that is not the case, but just like having guns on school campuses, he thinks it will be a deterrent to shooters. 

As the gun debate rages on, East Texas gun owners like Petty worry about price increases like the ones they saw after the Newtown shooting, as people rushed to buy weapons.

Senate Democrats plan to push for another look at the universal background checks. The legislation was turned down in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Mentally challenged teen missing in Tyler found safe

    UPDATE: Mentally challenged teen missing in Tyler found safe

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:42 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:42:00 GMT
    UPDATE: The Tyler Police Department has received several tips from citizens, indicating Carlaina Nicole Hopkins may also be head towards the downtown area. Again, if anyone knows of her location or sees her, they are asked to call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.More >>
    UPDATE: The Tyler Police Department has received several tips from citizens, indicating Carlaina Nicole Hopkins may also be head towards the downtown area. Again, if anyone knows of her location or sees her, they are asked to call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.More >>
  • ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:58 GMT
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.