CALL TO ACTION: Students demand tougher gun laws
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Protests today across the country as demonstrators call on lawmakers to change laws to protect our children from mass murderers. The latest flash point was last week's mass shooting that left 17 dead at a school in Florida. It's reignited the long-running debate of second amendment rights versus public safety.
We are taking your concerns about school shootings directly to members of Congress and pressing them for answers. Today ,we spoke lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
"There's this automatic jump to let's ban guns. First of all we can't under the Constitution," said Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope).
"We've got to start enforcing the laws that are on the books," said Sen. Doug Jones (D- Alabama). "We need to be talking real world, practical solutions."
Both Byrne and Jones agree banning certain weapons, like the AR-15, isn't the answer and more could be done in vetting people who buy guns.
"Right now, we only have you on the list if you've actually been adjudicated to be mentally ill, maybe there's something else we ought to look at there because there were warning signs about this young man, but there weren't warning signs for there to be an actual adjudication of mental illness. We need to look at that and see if there is something we can tighten up," said Byrne.
As for arming teachers, as some Alabama state lawmakers have discussed doing, Byrne and Jones disagree. Byrne says he could get behind it if the teachers are trained and willing, but Jones had a pointed reaction.
"I think that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. I think it's crazy," said Jones. "You don't need to arm America in order to stop this."
Jones acknowledging the mood of the country is different after this shooting. This time, something may actually change.
"Over the years we have seen these instances over and over, but it's almost like people read from the same script. They mourn and then they throw up their hands. They may file bill and then it gets lost. I think that much like what we saw this past summer with women who stood up and spoke out for years and years of abuse, I think we are at a tipping point. You are seeing these kids in Florida who are saying no more. We have got to do something," said Jones.