Lowcountry reacts to Obama's gun-control plan

by Stacy

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- In his speech Wednesday, President Barack Obama recalled{}"the month since 20 precious children" were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as he called for changes to existing gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons.

Jeremy Burnham has 5-year-old twins himself. And the owner of Atlantic Game and Tackle said he belonged to the National Rifle Association.

He had mixed feelings about President Obama's remarks. He{}didn't think an assault weapon ban would work, he said.

"You put this in place to appease a portion of the nation that doesn't realize this didn't solve anything before," Burnham said.{}"So how's it going to solve anything now?"

Louis Smith made a similar gun-control{}proposal in Summerville. He created a referendum to ban assault rifles, limit the size of magazines and make background checks universal, he said.

"The NRA has 4 million people. The president of the U.S. has 300 million people to answer to. He is showing that in America we don't allow simple slaughter of our children, of our babies, without reacting," Smith said.

Though Burnham didn't agree with the proposed ban, he said it wouldn't affect his business. He also supported the president's recommendation to put more resource{}officers in schools -- including the one his twins attend -- and to implement universal background checks. Such checks would close the so-called gun show loophole.

"Those are the places where people with felonies and criminals congregate to buy firearms," Burnham said.

The president said gun control needed the support of all Americans, even in areas where gun ownership traditions stand strong.

"It can't just be the usual suspects," Obama said.

Burnham didn't think that could happen.

"You're going to see states fighting the federal government and protecting their citizens rights," he said.

Smith said he would abandon his Summerville referendum, if Congress acts first. Otherwise, he said he wanted the referendum to be on the November 2013 ballot.