Gun control debate heats up after Newtown massacre

Detroit gun control advocates hold vigil outside Southfield gun range

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Gunfire was audible Monday as the Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network held a prayer vigil outside the Action Impact gun range in Southfield.

Gun owners were sharpening their marksmanship inside the range. Many opposed to this kind of recreation and preparation for self defense say the Newtown massacre was a watershed moment.

"What did this mother need with an AR-15? Was she going to war for somebody?" said Rev. Charles Williams.

Williams and other activists are demanding tougher gun control laws. However, the man who runs Action Impact says it's a nice sentiment but it's not likely to change much of anything.

"Evil will always exist. Why are we passive about it?" said Action Impact owner Billy Kucyk.

Several Detroit pastors say the city knows all too well about gun violence and what it does to families. They want government action taken to ban such weapons.

"Congress needs to act. The President has shown his willingness to act ... but also Gov. Snyder needs to act. Bottom line is today he has gun laws on his desk," said Williams.

Read: Snyder giving Mich.'s expanded open carry bill 'extra consideration'

Gun proponents say while they look menacing the guns are little different from deer rifles and all the new gun laws in the world would not have prevent Friday's attack.

"When we respond emotionally we're liable to make mistakes. Let's really examine the issue, what the best way is to really solve this rather than putting a band aid on a horrible infection," said Kucyk.

The pastors say they are hopping on a bus for Washington on Wednesday. They are planning to lobby for tougher gun laws -- such as reinstating the assault weapons ban --- at the nation's capital.

Kucyk said the ban did not work last time and it is not likely to work if it is passed again.

Meanwhile, the Southfield gun range was busy on Monday. It was jam-packed with shooters over the weekend, too. The debate is far from finished.

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