Locals sound off on reignition to gun law debate
WDEF spoke to both residents and tourist who were well aware of the mass attack that wounded 13 people and killed seven including the killer. They were all asked if congress should reconsider a gun background check amendment that focuses on people with mental issues.
"I think the background checks, especially for mental health is absolutely essential to have," said one tourist fro Atlanta.
"God bless those people’s families and everything, but yes they do need to reconsider that for sure," said Cleveland resident Keith Goldstone.
"I don’t think there’s an easy answer for this one. I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong but you would hope that the gun laws are built so people don’t deserve one can’t get one. But it’s such a hard question to put an answer to,"said Cleveland resident Richard Pokorny."
The heated gun law debate re-ignited this past weekend when Richard Martinez, the father of one of the gunshot victims, told a reporter that Congress was to blame.
"So where the hell is the leadership? Where the hell is the people we elect to congress that we spend so much money on? These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don’t take care of kids. My kid died," Martinez said.
In April of 2013, Lawmakers were given a chance to vote on an amendment that would have extended background checks on people who were wanting to purchase a gun. The extended check would have kept people with a mental illness from purchasing a gun but the measure failed by a vote of 54 to 46 in favor of not amending the law.
WDEF spoke to one tourist who said more emphasis should be mental health.
"We haven’t invested enough in mental health in this country in many years and it’s grossly under-funded. It’s really doing the entire society a disservice by putting all these people into this particular situation," said Josh Geltman who is a tourist from Washington D.C.
On Friday night, 22-year old Elliot Rodgers went on a rampage by killing three people with a knife then killing three more people with a gun he legally purchased. Rodgers reportedly had some mental issues but was legally allowed to purchase a firearm. In the midst of his shooting spree, he wounded 13 people before killing himself.
He posted a video of his intentions to do harm.
"Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day in which I will have my revenge against humanity. Against all of you. I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blonde slut," he said in an eight minute video.