Gun control plan sparks debate in Alabama

Shelly Smith, manager of Mark's Outdoors and daughter of the late Mark Whitlock, holds up a semi-automatic weapon for sale at the store. (

President Obama calls for a committee to submit proposals on reducing gun violence. It's sparked by shooting incidents around the country in the last few days. Proposals must be made in January. After that, the President will work to push new bills through on Capitol Hill. But here in Alabama, some people aren't ready for regulations to tighten control on guns."I will use all the power of this office to prevent more tragedies like this," President Barack Obama said Wednesday.President Obama's plan to tighten gun control sparked a hot debate here in Central Alabama..."It's the person holding the gun, not the gun itself," Grady Andrews, who opposes the gun control measure said."Better control is needed, basically," Clay McCord, who supports the measure said.The President is calling on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 - a move that some say - in light of recent shootings in Connecticut, and even here in Birmingham, will improve safety."I think we need to have better control over who has access to firearms," McCord said. "These are items that are created to kill. We should know who has them."But the majority of people we found don't agree."We have the right to bear arms and they're taking that away from us," David Cawley, who opposes the gun control measure said.Mark's Outdoors says guns and ammo are flying off the shelves. Whether it's the holiday season or personal protection - they've sold 1300 guns this month alone."There's no way for us to say what's causing it besides the fact that this is Christmas, it's hunting season, supply is limited from our distributors which makes it harder to refill and restock, but we're selling out across the board," Shelly Smith, Manager, Mark's Outdoors said.They say, assault rifles are sold out and the waiting list to get one is long. Grady Andrews came in today hoping to find one."With some of the recent happenings I thought I might as well get one before you can't get them anymore," Andrews said. "They're a lot of fun to shoot there's little recoil, and it's just a nice gun.""They start with the AR's then they say we'll take away the handguns, then the rifles," Cawley said. "Where does it stop?"