Kids, Santa Claus... and guns?



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Posted on December 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 21 at 3:52 PM

LEWISVILLE — It's Christmastime, and at Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, that means pictures with Santa and his gun.

Gun range owner Nancy Prince called it a "child-friendly" event. "I think it's extremely important to train children, to educate them, and take the mystery out of the guns," she said.

But don't tell that to Rev. Peter Johnson, a strong advocate of stricter gun control. He thinks kids and guns sends a wrong message. "We have to begin to talk about our love affair with violence," he said.

Johnson believes violence in America would decrease if it was harder to obtain weapons. He's helped take 22,000 guns off the streets in the past two decades during gun buy-backs.

"We are not going to be able to take all the guns out of Americans' hands, but we must begin to talk to America about violence itself," he said.

The owners of Eagle Gun Range say they don't advocate violence; they have numerous gun safety classes.

"That's one of the reasons we opened the range: To educate children to train in the correct way to use them," Prince said. "It can be a fun sport. It doesn’t have to be a dangerous sport."

Gun rights advocates say the problem is the person behind the gun, not the weapon itself.

"If people want to hurt another person, they can use a baseball bat," Prince said.

"The difference is, the baseball bat is for hitting a baseball... a gun is for killing people," Johnson said.

While the two sides differ about what needs to be done, both say they are united in pain and anger about what happened in Connecticut, and both believe something has to be done so no more innocent children die in schools.