Louisville residents split on Obama's gun control push - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville residents split on Obama's gun control push

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Barack Obama's push for gun control is bringing more people into local gun ranges.

Retired U.S. Navy Pilot John Thompson says, "It's something that the president is doing to make people think he's addressing the problem."

No one else at Training Guns and Gear in Louisville was surprised by the announcement either.

President Obama signed 23 executive orders Wednesday in response to the mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut in 2012.

They include a way for more resource officers to secure schools and better reporting of possible threats from mental health experts.

The president also called on Congress to pass legislation banning military assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Obama says, "I will put everything I've got into this and so will Joe [Biden], but I tell you, the only way we can change is if people demand it."

People like JoAnn Williams support the president's ideas. She is sitting by her daughter's bedside at University Hospital praying for a miracle.

Her daughter, Sheronda Morris, was hit by a stray built at the View nightclub in Louisville.

Williams says doctors can't remove the bullet or operate on Morris' spine because it could cause more damage. 

Williams says, "A bullet is a bullet. I don't care if it's a small gun or a big gun. I think the president ought to get these guns off the street."

Training Guns and Gear representatives say firearm sales shot through the roof after the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

Firearm Training Manager Ken Pagano says, "Firearms are equivalent to freedom, and that's what people see. When you start putting restrictions on the type of guns I can buy, the type of ammunition I am required and the magazine capacity I can have, you are infringing on my freedom little by little."

As supporters and critics dig in on both sides, the road to reform is narrow and winding.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer attended the President's press conference in Washington D.C.

Fischer is visiting the nation's capital as part of the annual conference of Mayors.

He said in a statement, "I'm a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment. We need to have an honest debate in this country about assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips; we also need to address the serious issue of mental health and illness. I hope leaders at all levels of government in this country are actively engaged in this dialogue. This is critical to our violence prevention work in Louisville as well as a common-sense element of our compassionate city."

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