FAIRBANKS, AK -- The Fairbanks community is still discussing President Obama's impending executive orders and pressure to Congress for tighter gun control measures. Local second amendment supporters say the President's calls for action are more about control than safety.
No doubt, video images of the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting, or the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut create shocking and emotional responses from those who view them. Local gun supporters say this is how anti-gun advocates, and now, the White House, use those images and those emotions in their favor.
"It stirs up emotion and they aim that emotion at the guns," said Joe Nava, N.R.A Certified Counselor. "The gun isn't the one that did the bad thing, it's the guy who did the bad thing, but they are always using a disaster like this to stir up emotion and to keep and to keep the emotion up, they use a term like assault rifle and they try to make that assault rifle evil. There's nothing evil about an assault rifle."
Firearm enthusiast and 2nd amendment advocate, Michael Dukes agrees.
"Assault weapons make up less than one half of one percent of all the firearm crimes that are perpetrated out there, less than one half of one percent, yet that's what YOU focus on. That blows the whole argument right there, it's really not about keeping people safe then, really it's about controlling what people have."
Dukes says he is pleased that out of the 23 orders issued, none were direct action orders, such as immediate weapons bans or absolute restrictions. He also believes the suggested legislation to congress for assault weapons bans and per round magazine limits will go nowhere.
Dukes says gun-related crime is down and has been down, despite the recent mass shooting tragedies. Further restrictions on firearm ownership only affects law-abiding citizens, never the criminal.
"Politicians just haven't figured out that criminals, by their very definition, are going to break the law," said Dukes, "So it doesn't matter how many new laws you pass, they are criminals, so they are going to break the law.
"Again, it goes back to what is it really about, is it about safety or control, it's about control. I think a lot of the blue-dog Democrats, and the pro-gun Democrats and even those who may be on the fence, the Republican and Democratic side are feeling the heat from their constituency, I know they've been burning up the lines to congress. There is no real interest in that in the Legislature, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stay vigilant."