Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Street Talk: Addressing gun violence

Correspondent Mark Shephard asked, “In light of the recent tragedy at the Martin’s Super Market here at Cobblestone Crossing, how can our community pledge to keep Elkhart strong, and how can we begin to resolve the gun violence problem locally?”


Posted on Jan. 24, 2014 at 10:14 p.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited Cobblestone Crossing in Elkhart this week and asked, “In light of the recent tragedy at the Martin’s Super Market here at Cobblestone Crossing, how can our community pledge to keep Elkhart strong, and how can we begin to resolve the gun violence problem locally?”

Larry Tice, semi-retired machinist, Elkhart:

“The problem isn’t so much the gun violence as it is the mental problems that these people have that are not being addressed properly. Start to address that. The gun problem is not the problem, it’s the people.” Follow-up question: How do you feel about gun laws at this time in our history. Do you thing they’re OK, or do they need to be changed? “The laws are perfectly fine. Like I said, it’s the people carrying them. Guns don’t kill, people kill. Let’s address the real problem.”

Alyssa Gerardot, hair stylist, Goshen:

“I think that it should be a little more rigorous to get a gun. I think it should take time. You should investigate who’s getting them, and then also from person to person — the transfer of guns — if my friend wants my gun, and I can just sell it to him like that, I think it should be a little bit stricter than just signing it down to somebody else.” Follow-up: How about keeping Elkhart strong? “More community — I think the more that everybody is out together would help.”

Jennifer Lewallen, hair stylist, South Bend:

“I think that how we stay strong as a community is to come together as a community — to know your neighbors, to meet the people around you, to know who is in your grocery store or at your local restaurants — and be kind to one another.” Follow-up question: How do you feel about guns at this point in our history? “I think that guns are very readily available and very easily accessible. And I think that people just need to take time, and not be instantly gratified by wanting something right now. We need to have higher standards for people getting guns, and what types of guns. You can really only regulate things so much before people tend to go crazy and talk about Big Brother and whatnot, but we need to keep people safe. And that should be the most important thing.”

Daniel Tackett, motorcycle dealership department manager, Goshen:

“Solving the gun violence problem I’m not sure is even feasible at a local level. It’s an ongoing national debate. I don’t feel like it can ever be under control unless you just turn into like a military state and just stop the selling of all guns. People that want to commit violent acts unfortunately are always going to find a way to commit those violent acts whether laws are in place or not.” Follow-up question: How do you feel about the Elkhart Strong movement in light of the Sarahstrong movement? “I think the Sarahstrong movement is huge. I work at a business that participated in a benefit for that. It was a huge success. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen a community come together. I think we need to be more proactive than reactive. I think it’s terrible that a tragedy is what causes a community to come together. I think the community needs to be more proactive in finding good reasons for the community to come together other than just reacting to a tragedy or a loss.”

Polly Shaefer, retired, Elkhart:

“We need to really get our mental health facilities going and get more education for them. Educate them more highly, and let all of the community know too. It’s sort of that we’re just beginning to care for mental health. We haven’t come far enough yet, we have to come further I think. I’m not sure how to do it, but education seems the way to go.”




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