North Carolina lawmakers discuss solutions to the increase in gun violence

19 children, two teachers killed in Tuesday’s shooting at a Texas elementary school
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:18 PM EDT
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NORTH CAROLINA (WITN) - Some feel Tuesday’s shooting is a sign of a need for change in gun laws, while others feel the root of the problem exists in mental health treatment. WITN reached out to officials today to hear their response to the tragedy and their answers to the question, “What now?”

“Words just can’t really express how devastating that has to be for the families and for this nation,” said State Representative Chris Humphrey.

“What we’ve seen at Robb Elementary is just indicative that we have a lot to fix and a lot to do to make children specifically safer,” said State Representative Brian Farkas.

Many shared similar reactions to the deadly school shooting, but what to do in response to it is a different matter.

Rep. Humphrey suggested an increased focus on treating mental illness. “I think we need to train more, more counselors and train teachers, train community leaders how to better recognize those that are challenged,” he said.

Investigators said the suspect legally bought two AR-style rifles just days before the attack, soon after his 18th birthday. He bought 375 rounds of ammunition the next day, then purchased the second rifle on May 20.

Rep. Farkas said the process of buying a gun should be more monitored. “People support background checks, and it’s just making sure that there aren’t loopholes that people can use to dance around with and secure firearms, automatic weapons that nobody needs, that nobody goes hunting with,” he explained.

That’s where the two disagree.

“I think our gun laws are strict enough; there’s background checks. Things fall through the cracks. It’s unfortunate, but you know, good guys need to have guns,” Humphrey explained.

He feels allowing teachers to carry would improve safety.

“Train teachers to carry guns in schools. I know that’s not what a lot of folks want to hear, but I saw a post today on social media talking about the President’s protected with guns, or banks are protected with guns, our jewelry schools are protected with guns, but in our schools we have a sign that says simply this is a gun free zone,” Humphrey said.

Whatever action is taken, both feel things cannot stay how they are.

“It should be a society where every parent feels that they can drop their children off at school and not have to worry if that’s the last time they’re gonna see them,” Farkas said.

The United States outpaces anywhere else in the world in terms of gun ownership, gun-related homicides and public mass shootings. The U.S. has 120 firearms per 100 people.

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