MIAMI (CBS4) – At the Miami Police Supply gun store opinions are firm when it comes to the gun control debate. One customer, Bert Vinas, told CBS4’s Michael Williams, “I believe gun control is a big issue. However I believe we have the right to bear arms.”
President Obama did not debate the point in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
At one point he said, “There is a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause.”
If one of those reasons is the ease with which an allegedly deranged young man could get a gun and a huge amount of ammunition the president did not say. That is despite the fact that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was gravely wounded.
The family of the shooter’s youngest victim, Christina Greene, was invited to Capitol Hill and sat with the First Lady to listen to her husband’s address.
“I’m disappointed the president did not mention it,” said former Miami-Dade commissioner Katy Sorenson.
She now heads “The Good Government Initiative” and sat down to talk Wednesday. She disputes the notion that more guns will lead to greater citizen safety. Sorenson points to the shooting that claimed the lives of two Miami-Dade police officers last week.
“Those officers had guns,” said Sorenson. ”They should have guns available and they were not able to defend against this guy(the shooter).”
Meanwhile, a call to ban extended ammunition clips like the one used in the Arizona massacre is almost certain to go nowhere in the Florida Legislature. However another call to allow Floridians with concealed weapons permits to wear their guns in the open, including on college campuses, could become law this year.
Sorenson said, “The response to violence seems to be more violence. It is as though you are saying the response to a drowning is more water.”
Gun store general manager Javier Alonso disagrees. He said, “I don’t think civilians are becoming the Wild West. I think it is criminals. They are becoming more and more violent which means people should have more rights to defend themselves.”
And so the debate goes on, but in terms of Florida law and pending legislation that debate increasingly favors those who want fewer gun restrictions.