Gun owners respond to push for gun control

Gun owners respond to push for gun control

As thousands in Madison call on lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws, local gun owners sounded off on the March for Our Lives.

While many push for gun control, Jeff Walsh is teaching his son about gun safety.

“Oh, it’s critical,” he said.

Walsh comes from Illinois to take his son to Deerfield Pistol and Archery Center.

“Teaching him how to actually use a weapon, I think, is the responsible thing to do,” he said.

Walsh is happy staying in the shooting range and out of the marches.

“If the idea is to come up with new ideas to make ourselves safe, that’s fine. But attacking guns is like attacking forks and knives for making people fat,” he said. “It just doesn’t change anything.”

“If people are talking about gun control, I think we should start with training,” Deerfield Pistol and Archery Center worker Jamie Wepking said.

He’s not sure stricter gun laws will help, either.

“There’s a lot of criminals in the world that can get a gun without going into a gun shop,” Wepking said.

Instead, he wants a societal push to identify people showing dangerous behaviors before a potential attack and more gun education, like properly locking up guns and teaching kids gun safety.

“I’m very education based,” Wepking said. “I think it’s our responsibility as safe gun owners to educate ourselves on the proper way.”

“Understand the guns aren’t the cause of the problem. It’s the people that are the problem,” Walsh said.

Walsh doesn’t believe the changes that marchers are pushing for would have made a difference in the Florida shooting or in any future cases.

“It’s so emotionally charged, and kids are very idealistic and they want to do the right thing, and they feel they have the power to make these changes, and I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “But I also think it’s something that is skewed a little bit by people who have an agenda.”

Other gun owners News 3 spoke with stressed taking a multifaceted approach to gun violence, including focusing on mental health.