PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People on both sides of the gun control issue spoke with KDKA on Thursday.
They shared their reaction to President Joe Biden’s executive orders and call to action. They agreed on one thing: Gun violence is a problem, but how to solve it is where they disagree.
Gun owners feel it’s just another attempt that won’t solve the root of the issue, while gun violence victims praised the president.
“It’s just one more law that isn’t going to have a meaning effect on anything,” Josh Rowe of Allegheny Arms and Gun Works said.
He believes the root of the problem is mental health and socioeconomic issues, and that’s what politicians should address.
“Those are hard problems to solve and those are generational problems you have to start addressing,” Rowe said outside his store in Bethel Park.
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Unfortunately, Pittsburgh knows gun violence all too well. In 2018, 11 members of the city’s Jewish community were killed when a gunman opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
“I get emotional with this because our group was founded in response to mass murder,” Carolyn Ban with Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence said.
Ban is also a member of the Dor Hadash Congregation, which was one of the three congregations victimized by the 2018 tragedy.
“We know what it feels like to be affected by mass murder,” she said. “We can’t let people like that walk around with assault rifles. We just can’t.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said it respects the right to own guns but doesn’t want them to be abused.
“Action can occur that isn’t infringing upon the constitution or the right of responsible Americans to own firearms. These are simply protection and common-sense gun laws that could protect all of us,” Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Director of Community Relations Laura Cherner said.
Rowe is willing to try anything to stop gun violence, but he is not sure the president’s plan is the answer.
“The majority of this new gun control is rehashed plans of and rehashed failed policies,” Rowe said.
“We have to get those guns out of the hands of civilians. They were not designed for civilians. They were designed for the battlefield,” Ban said.