GREENSBORO, NC -- After the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, a nationwide debate is heating up over gun control.
The debate is going beyond political lines and into the lives of everyday people.
WFMY News 2 wanted to hear the Triad's take on gun control laws, the second amendment, and the state of America.
Reporter Ben Powell spent much of Wednesday in Lebauer Park in Greensboro to gather reaction from the community.
We held a sign that read, ‘What does the second amendment mean to you?’
People around the park had a wide variety of opinions both for and against the issue.
“It's your right to own a gun,” said Chris Kurtz. “I don't think we need to change the laws because making them stricter is not going to change the way people think or the problems people have.”
Bruce Robinson says he’s experienced gun violence on a personal level which has affected his opinion on the matter.
“I've lost six homeboys already to gun violence. So that's why I am passionate about it,” said Robinson. “There should be more test to figure out what kind of people are allowed to have guns.
Rhonda Howard says she doesn’t feel safe anymore as a result of recent gun violence nationwide.
“The world is getting dangerous and everything is turning crazy,” said Howard. “It's just scary because you feel like you can't walk out of your house without having some type of protection or just being scared.”
Billy Johnson stopped for a look at our sign and shared his views on gun control.
“I think you should be allowed to buy a gun. I really do,” he said. “You really don't have to go through a store to buy a gun. You can get a gun anywhere. That's the whole thing. How can you control something that you still can go on the street and get it?”
Heather Perez is split on the second amendment but sees gun violence as a problem that needs to be addressed.
“You can't just walk around with a gun and say ‘Oh I'm gonna shoot this person or shoot that person.’ You can't do that,” said Perez. “If you feel like toy need to have gun for protection, that's you. You can have that right.”
Here's how the second amendment reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Greensboro Attorney Joel Oakley says the language has stayed the same since 1776 but the interpretation of the law has changed over the years.
For instance, there are limitations on who can buy guns and what kinds are allowed.
"We have things like felons cannot possess a firearm. There are certain states that limit the type of firearm. All these things come down to the interpretation by the courts,” said Oakley. “What may have been right in the back then may not be right in the years 2000."
Oakley says gun control laws can be tweaked by state governments to account for increases in violence.
However, he says it’s highly unlikely for the second amendment to be abolished altogether.
Oakley says that would need a super majority vote, which requires two thirds of congress and two thirds of senate to make the amendment.
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