Oregon shooting puts spotlight back on gun control

The deadly mass shooting Thursday at an Oregon college is once again bringing the issue of gun violence and gun control back into the national spotlight.

Authorities say 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College, located about 180 miles south of Portland. Mercer died in a shootout with police.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is one of a handful congressmen who support stricter background checks for gun buyers and restrictions at gun shows.

"We have to start addressing it in a more intelligent way, not people being absolutist on the Second Amendment saying there should be virtually no controls, or anti-gun people saying we should take away guns," King says. "You're not going to take away guns in this country."

Still, King says that if those laws were in place, he does not think it would have prevented the Oregon shooting.

However, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) says that building stricter regulations must start somewhere. He says that lawmakers must make it more difficult for "deranged" people to get guns, not easier. It won't stop all gun violence, but it may prevent some, he says.

The conversation is also being held among regular Long Islanders. Barbara Frankel, of North Hills, calls herself a strong advocate for gun control. She says that she is tired of hearing of tragedies caused by gun violence.

"These are wonderful, unique people," Frankel says. "To take anyone's life for any reason to me is horrendous."

King is co-sponsoring a bill that would implement stricter background checks for gun buyers and impose restrictions at gun shows. He admits that its passage is unlikely, based on the opposition of fellow Republicans elsewhere in the country.

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