NASHVILLE, Tenn. - We're hearing a lot these days about gun control, both at the federal and state level. President Obama has his gun control proposals and state lawmakers here in Tennessee and in other states are coming up with their own plans as well.
On Friday, a group of gun rights advocates came out to rally at Legislative Plaza. "I'm here to defend my rights as a gun owner and law abiding citizen," said gun owner Ellie Lentz. "I'm 23, college educated…and I want to defend myself as best I can."
She and other gun advocates brought out signs quoting our founding fathers, and promoting the Second Amendment right to bear arms. They feel that lawmakers in Washington are taking aim at the wrong place.
Michael Graham served in the Gulf War, and won the purple heart twice. He argues mass shootings like the deadly theater massacre in Colorado last summer and more often the result of mental illness than lax gun control laws. "That's getting swept under the rug," said Graham. "So I think there's a lot more to it than just gun control. I think gun control is not gun control, it's people control."
This group wants all aspects of gun violence analyzed before tighter gun restrictions are put in place. Even in the case of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, the young killer had a record of mental illness, while his mother did not. Her guns were used in the shooting.
These gun advocates hope to make their case to politicians and the public. Nashville wasn't alone, rallies were also held in many other cities across the nation on Friday.