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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As California copes with Wednesday’s carnage, the mass murders in San Bernardino, a renewed conversation on gun control is underway.
President Barack Obama noted an irony in an interview with CBS News, shortly after the California tragedy began to play out across the nation. We have no fly lists, people who aren’t allowed to board jetliners, the president said, but no gun restrictions on them.
“Those same people who we don’t allow to fly can go into a store now in the United States and buy a firearm, and there’s nothing we can do to stop them,” the president said, as he renewed his repeated previous calls for strong gun control measures.
Hillary Clinton was talking gun control in Orlando shortly before the California attack.
“It’s time for us to say we’re going to have comprehensive background checks,” the Democratic presidential candidate declared.
Clinton also called for banning the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows private gun owners to sell weapons one-on-one to other people, without the background check and waiting period required for other gun sales.
Major GOP candidates issued condolences to the victims and families in California, but avoided the gun control issue.
At a Miami gun store, Eugene Proenza was buying a new one Thursday. He has had a concealed weapons permit for 24 years and said those around him are safer for it.
“You need protection for your family, and if you’re in a restaurant or where other people are, you need it also to protect them,” Proenza said.
America’s fondness for guns does not appear to be waning. On Black Friday, folks were buying more than flat screen televisions. The FBI reports that on Black Friday it was processing firearm background checks at the rate of one every two seconds.
At Whole Foods Market in Pinecrest, some customers in the parking lot said a line needs to be drawn.
“There’s no need for assault rifles and things like that that have that level of power and ammunition available,” said Elizabeth Hoover as she wrapped up her shopping.
Still others said they would prefer no guns at all.
“I used to live in London, in England, and they don’t have guns over there and you don’t see the problems that you see here in the states,” said Melissa Anderson.
At Pete’s Barber Shop the latest mass murder story was playing out on the TV set, and some were set in their insistence on the right to bear arms.
“You should respect the constitution,” said customer Armando Benitez. “Guns should not be banned, it’s as simple as that.”
Others saw more gun control as a hopeless cause against a high powered gun lobby.
“Any attempt to curtail the proliferation of assault weapons is going to be an exercise in futility,” said Jamie Greenwald, noting that previous mass shootings have sparked talk of additional gun control, but no action.