Valley gun owners take aim at Obama's gun proposals - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Valley gun owners take aim at Obama's gun proposals

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

President Barack Obama's latest proposals on gun control have stirred up debates across Arizona.

CBS5 found some support for what the White House is doing, but there's also a lot of anger and skepticism.

Every single Valley gun owner CBS5 spoke to Wednesday at the Ben Avery Shooting Range in Phoenix was opposed to the president's latest proposal to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as a way to reduce gun violence across the country.

"That's absolutely the wrong path," said gun owner Steve Cornell. "Firearms or magazine capacity have nothing to do with mass murders."

The National Rifle Association issued this statement:

"Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face in this nation."

What many Valley gun owners would like to see is the president and Congress focusing more attention on mental health.

"I think that people killing people with guns, like different slaughters at the schools, they have mental health issues," said Christine Tenerelli, of Waddell. "Somebody needs to identify that and offer them care in that arena."

"It has nothing to do with the weapons," said Nikole DiJohn. "They're always available. There is always going to be some way to get something, just like how people get drugs even though drugs are illegal. I don't think an assault weapon ban will make a difference."

There is, however, one part of the president's proposal gun owners like Brian Rubens will not be taking aim at.

Rubens said that he is in favor of creating a universal background check system that closes loopholes at gun shows and prevents dangerous criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms.

"I belong to the NRA; however, I am also a reasonable person," said Rubens. "I really think that people should be checked, period. It's my personal opinion, when you sell a gun, period. I don't have a problem with that."

Hildy Zaizow, with Arizonans for Gun Safety, was in Washington taking part in the gun safety panel. 

"I think the president offered up a wide range of strategies that will really go a long way towards addressing the problem of gun violence and save lives,"said Zaizow.  "The American public has said we need to take action."

Zaizow said that she is encouraged that many of the president's proposals can take effect right away and she is hopeful the other bigger issues will be addressed by Congress.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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