The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 17, 2013

President's gun measures spur local discussion


House Representatives: Ideas won’t work

Meanwhile, U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, and Thomas Marino, R-10, Cogan Station, thought the president’s ideas would do little to stem violence.

“As a father and grandfather,” Barletta said, “I understand the obligation we have to protect our children and our communities. I also believe that the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase, possess and use firearms is entirely consistent with that obligation.

“We must come together as a country, seek out solutions that work toward preventing these horrific crimes, and give thorough and thoughtful review of proposals that address this issue within the confines of the United States Constitution.”

Marino, a former federal prosecutor, said: “I do not support the implementation of additional regulations on firearms at the expense of law-abiding citizens. The president’s most recent proposal will do little to curb future acts of violence and will do nothing to deal with the fundamental issues at hand, including addressing school security, mental health and the extreme pervasiveness of violence in our society’s culture and media.”

Connecticut gun laws, Marino said, are some of the most aggressive and restrictive in the nation, but that still did not prevent Adam Lanza from illegally obtaining firearms from his mother, a lawful gun owner.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues as we search for solutions that will prevent these tragedies in the future,” he said. “But I will not stand by as this administration attempts to infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed rights of lawful gun owners.”

Preserve owner: A difficult issue

Mike Martz, owner of Martz’ Gap View Hunting Preserve, Dalmatia, agreed that something had to be done to curb the kind of violence seen at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where Lanza on Dec. 14 shot and killed 20 school children and six adults.

“It’s a hard issue,” Martz said. “But banning guns of any kind is not the answer. I don’t think gun control will stop evil from happening.”

Martz opposes any kind of gun control.

“If the government can take away assault rifles, what will be next?” he asked.

But the outcry over assault weapons is having its effect elsewhere.

One of the largest expos in Pennsylvania is the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, held Feb. 2-10 in Harrisburg at the Farm Show Complex.

The show, which features vendors selling firearms, is a unique celebration of the authentic hunting and fishing traditions cherished by millions of Americans and their families.

“As a hunting-focused event,” said company spokesman Deb Davis. “We welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport. Clearly, we strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention that would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family-oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests.”

Those weapons include military style assault weapons.

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