INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 7, 2015) – President Obama's rare speech to the nation from the Oval Office Sunday addressing recent terror attacks at home and abroad sparked the long-standing gun debate among local politicians and gun advocates in Indianapolis.
“Congress should act to make sure no one on the no-fly list is able to buy a gun," President Obama said during his speech. “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security."
The President also asked Congress to pass legislation to limit the sale of powerful automatic weapons, like the ones used in the San Bernardino shooting.
“I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures, but the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill," the President said.
Local gun advocate and former gun store owner, Mike Hilton, said even though President Obama's request makes sense on the surface, new gun regulations are very difficult to enforce and regulate.
“Who’s going to be on the list?" Hilton asked. "Once they start a list and they make it law... everybody can be put on this list."
Hilton also argues politicians focus too much on the weapons used in terror attacks, and often not the root cause of radical ideology or mental illness.
"You shouldn’t regulate the tool," Hilton said. "You need to control the individuals behind the tool."
On Saturday, former Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, talked to high school students about current events including the San Bernardino shooting.
“I believe we will need to think through the armament state of the San Bernardino couple," Lugar said.
He said he would encourage lawmakers to create new gun regulations, but with the current climate in congress any legislation is unlikely.
“I believe that the leadership of the congress would like to move ahead and there are some in the congress who come not really wanting to move ahead," Lugar said. "They want to be symbols of protest to show the anger of the American public."
With no clear solution and or political compromise on the horizon the debate is likely to continue for a long time.