Louisville residents to react to President's gun plan


by Adam Walser


Posted on January 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 16 at 7:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- President Barack Obama has taken major steps towards reducing gun violence in America.

“If there was even one thing we could do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try,” Obama said during a White House news conference Wednesday morning.

The President unveiled a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals. He is asking Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.

He also wants to close current loopholes for background checks on private gun purchases.

People are split over whether the proposals will work and whether Congress will give the President the legislation he is asking for.

In addition to likely fueling more gun sales, the announcement also increased dialogue about important issues.

In Louisville, reaction to the proposals was positive among some residents.

Like at the Clip, Cut and Shave Barber Shop on West Broadway --a part of town that has seen too much gun violence in recent months.

“I think he needs to take all measures possible as far as protecting kids,” barber and gun owner Mike Cox said.

“The ease with which you could obtain a gun, that's a problem,” customer Jeff Handley said.

At Jerry's J-Boy on Dixie Highway, there was support for some of the President's proposals, such as beefing up school security and offering more help to the mentally ill

There was still some skepticism over other parts of the plan.

“To go any further and try to take guns out of people's hands is not good because, then only criminals would have guns,” Mike Mattingly said.

Some residents had concerns over some of the measures, like Ken Pagano of TG and G Gun Range.

“From our perspective, any type of restrictions of registration are just incremental steps toward confiscation,” Pagano said.

“I caught a little bit of the press conference today. I read more about what New York did last night and that concerns me more than what I heard out of the president so far,” Jim Coyle said. “You know, we're just at the beginning. We have to see what kind of legislation they want to put forward.”

Some people we talked to believe that the president's announcement will help reduce some of the tensions among different groups, now that specific measures have been identified.