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A few people in Shelby County who would comment Thursday said President Barack Obama’s program to curb gun violence in the country was not a good plan.
Obama signed 23 executive actions and made numerous recommendations to Congress to tighten controls of the sales and distribution of guns and ammunition as a response to the recent killing of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Obama ordered federal agencies to make data available for background checks, to address unnecessary legal barriers that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system, to require the Attorney General to review people prohibited from having guns to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks and to give police the ability to run a full background check on people before returning a seized gun.
Other aspects of his directives include providing guidance for gun dealers in running background checks for private sellers, starting a national safe and responsible gun campaign and providing law enforcement and school officials with training for armed attack situations.
He also suggested that Congress reinstate a ban on assault weapons, tighten requirements for gun registration and reduce the firepower that can be acquired in ammunition magazines.
Only a handful of residents in Shelby County contacted by The Sentinel-News Thursday would comment on the program. Some said they had not had the opportunity to understand the orders and recommendations in sufficient detail to comment about it, because it only had been issued by the president the previous day. Others didn’t like it too much.
Shelbyville Police Chief Danny Goodwin, for one, said he has not had a chance to review the order.
“We have been concentrating on concerning ourselves in Shelby County with our efforts working with the school system to keep our kids safe,” Goodwin said.
Eugene Maynard of Simpsonville, who on Thursday was moved to submit his feelings in writing, said he did not didn’t like the president’s order because it puts the wheels in motion to disarm the American public.
“I see where he’s coming from, but what the president is doing is he’s interfering with our Constitution,” he said in a telephone interview.
Maynard said he believes the order is a prelude to a ban on gun ownership.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he said. “He doesn’t realize the dangers of disarming us. I haven’t been out and about too much, but I can tell you, if you talk to some of the gun clubs, I believe in being able to protect my home and my property and myself.
Jerry Terhune of Finchville, a former longtime gun dealer, called the order “useless.”
“I’m not impressed,” he said. “I doubt that it will have much effect. It’s more for show than anything else. And the part where it talks about eliminating assault rifles, that’s absolutely absurd. Less than one percent of the crimes are committed with rifles. And besides all that, it’s probably unconstitutional.”