Local firearm experts weigh in on gun debate
OKLAHOMA CITY —
What can be done to prevent mass shootings? It's a question most every American has asked in recent weeks. But it's not one that comes with an easy answer.
Tyler Miller, general manager at Wilshire Gun, says the issue needs to be looked at from multiple angles.
"What we need to do is we need to figure out what are the correlating factors that really determine what makes these different than other gun crime, and find ways to tackle that problem,” Miller said.
Miller interacts with dozens of responsible, gun-toting Oklahomans a day. To him, taking guns away from one and not the other strictly based on age isn't a fair nor logical solution.
"To go and penalize all 18 to 21-year-old kids, who can't go and buy a rifle to go hunting, can't buy a shotgun to go hunting simply because of the actions of a few disturbed individuals; that I have a real problem with,” Miller said.
Miller points to his time in the military. He was 18 when he joined.
"I can go and I can get a firearm at the age of 18, that I'm given by my government to go overseas and do my job, but I can't go and buy one to go hunting?" Miller said.
Miles Hall, a former gun range owner turned consultant says Miller's argument dates back at least 20 years.
"The argument that was brought up then to maintain the 18-age line was that you can go to war at 18,” said Hall, owner of Hall-N-Hall Consulting.
Hall has seen the gun debate reignite time and time again, yet he says no solution is ever reached because people are too quick to place blame.
“People want to blame a thing, they don't want to blame an individual,” Hall said. “Because the thing is an easy fix, they think. And it isn't. Once you start messing with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, what's the next thing they're going to do?"
Three bills that would loosen the restrictions on carrying guns in Oklahoma are headed to the full house.
Those who oppose the measures say they don't want laws that would allow someone to handle a firearm without a permit and training.