NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – In the week that’s passed since the massacre in Parkland, Florida, there have been a number of calls for tougher gun regulations and even banning certain types of firearms.
Valley Congressman Bill Johnson, R-6th District, argues that hasn’t worked in Europe, where he says private gun ownership is strictly limited.
“Look what happened in Paris a couple of years ago. At the theater, there were several hundred people I believe were killed. Where did those gunmen get their guns from?” Johnson said. “We tend to take the spotlight off of the criminal or person that does it, and we put it on other aspects of it and politicize it.”
While some have been targeting groups like the National Rifle Association for promoting gun violence, Johnson says the focus needs to be on the shooters themselves. In this case, the shooter is 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz.
Federal law enforcement sources told CBS News that Nikolas bought seven rifles in 2017. The revelation about Cruz, his mental state, and his intentions come as agencies apparently missed warning signs about him.
Johnson says although he doesn’t have specific numbers, he believes there are many gun owners and NRA members in his district.
“They know I stand for the same principles that they do,” Johnson said.
He’s not alone in courting them either. In 2004, former presidential candidate John Kerry and Congressman Ted Strickland, both Democrats, staged a local photo-op, hoping for NRA support, with a goose hunt.
For now, Johnson says lawmakers and the Administration need to balance keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them and protecting the Constitution.