The Great Gun Debate - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

The Great Gun Debate

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On 6:30 Point of View this Monday (Nov. 18), host Chris Berg directed the conversation toward the topic of gun rights: specifically, are tougher gun laws the right course for America, or should we read the second amendment literally, so that every American's right to bear arms "shall not be infringed?" 

Joining Berg to help answer these questions were Tom Reiten and Susan Beehler. Reiten is an NRA-certified conceal-and-carry test administrator and the former president of the North Dakota Shooting Sports Association; Beehler is the founder of the "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America's" North Dakota chapter.

Berg framed tonight's gun debate as a matter of public safety, citing recent events including this year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

"How do we stop these shootings from happening, and can we stop these shootings from happening?" Berg asked. "Some people say -- in order to stop [tragedies] -- we need more guns, while other people say we need more gun-free zones. What is the answer? What is the truth?"

Viewers are encouraged to share their point of view by email [630POV@valleynewslive.com] or by texting or leaving a voicemail on the POV Hotline: 701-369-3187.

Below are some excerpts of the conversation that occurred on Monday's show. You can watch the discussion in its entirety by clicking the video above.

Chris Berg: "Susan, what is the ultimate when you think about, 'here is our target, here is what our organization is trying to accomplish?' What is that specifically?" 

Susan Beehler: "Well, we envision that our country can be safe for all people and families -- be safe and not have gun violence in their life -- so that nobody has to go through what Sandy Hook [went through]."

Berg: "Would that include more guns in schools or gun-free zones in America?"

Beehler: "I don't believe the gun itself was necessarily the true problem. More guns are not the solution."

Berg: "More guns are not the solution?"

Beehler: "That's what I believe."

Berg: "Do you have any research or information to back that up?"

Beehler: "A gun in the home is 500 times more likely for somebody to be injured or killed by that gun in the home, and so the more guns we put out in the streets and our schools, the more opportunity there is and the more risk there is for somebody to be injured in an altercation with a gun."

Berg: "You look at the situation in Colorado; the elementary school in Sandy Hook; Tucson, Arizona; I can go on and on down the list... Your thoughts about what Susan is saying? Less guns is the answer?"

Tom Reiten: "The situation you run into when you're dealing with an active shooter in a school or in a business or in a shopping center or in the movie theater is how fast that shooter can be neutralized -- be taken out of the action -- and that is the key. And I think what we need to consider is armed guards in the school that can respond. Most of the incidents occur in a very short time. We are talking minutes that the shooter is active."



6:30 Point of View is an interactive and controversial opinion-oriented talk show on KXJB (Channel 4) in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.

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