Community leaders discuss gun control, background checks

Four months after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the debate over gun control and background checks seems as fresh as ever.  

Southeast Texas TEA Party chairman Jeff Sadighi says the bi-partisan compromise in Washington, D.C. on background checks threatens personal freedoms.

"There is no role for D.C. in gun control," Sadighi told 12News on Wednesday. "If they can regulate gun ownership and gun use in Texas then it follows that they can regulate our religious practices or our right of free speech. Texans should figure out the solution for Texas. What's good for Texas won't be the right solution for Chicago, and won't be the right solution for Alaska."

On the other side of the argument, Sheila Sachitano, director of the Progressive Democrats of Southeast Texas, told 12News over the phone that "There's no reason for anyone not to go through a background check. Don't make it easier for people who don't need to have guns."

Sachitano also called GOP efforts to stall a vote "unconscionable".

Beaumont Police Chief Jim Singletary says he's not against more background checks, but he's not convinced they'll prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns.

"Most of the people that are using guns in violent crimes, they traditionally don't get them the way the law-abiding citizens do," Singletary said.
Sadighi offered his opinion about the real problem the nation is facing. "The issue isn't guns," he said. "The issue is that we have lost respect for human life."

According to a report by the Department of Justice, background checks prevented less than 2% of gun-buyers from purchasing a firearm between 1998-2009.




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