Tampa theather shooting: Gun law advocates, firearms dealers debate new restrictions on guns
Latest shooting sparking new conversation
10:50 PM, Jan 14, 2014
7:36 AM, Jan 15, 2014
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - With every new shooting in gathering spots many once thought were safe, the gun debate intensifies.
From movie theaters to schools, many are now questioning whether more guns protect people from danger or if they create an hair-trigger society always prone to the new violent outburst.
When Boca Raton resident Debbie Albeck watches the images from the recent Tampa theater shooting that left one man dead, her frustration rises.
"Well I know what the answer is not and the answer is not having more guns," said Albeck who runs the Committee Against Gun Violence.
Albeck say when people have guns on them, they feel a certain authority to use them.
Investigators in Tampa said shooter Curtis Reeves fired at Chad Oulson for texting during a movie.
"If he would not have had the gun, it would have just came down to maybe a few blows," said Albeck.
The solution Albeck said is to have few guns in the U.S. and legislators passing laws that ensure firearms are in few places.
"If it's not in the Florida statute, which is a very small section of where you can't go with a firearm, then anywhere else in the state of Florida is fair game," said Chuck Papp, a gun dealer and the owner of Palm Beach Shooting Center.
Papp said airports, police stations, government meetings, schools, polling places and courtrooms are about the only places in Florida where guns are banned. He said not matter what law is passed guns will be out there.
Papp also said just threatening to restrict them only drives sales up.
"This seems like it's happening more and more. But it's just another one of those acts of violence that has a firearm in it that the use of the firearm was taken totally out of what it was supposed have been there for," said Papp.
Albeck said metal detectors could help inside theaters but thinks it goes beyond just one fix.
"We need a cultural change of heart. We need to look at guns for what they really are and the intended use of a gun is to kill," said Albeck.
Call and emails to local and state lawmakers for comment about their stance on new gun laws were not returned.