Store's rifle sales halt sparks C.O. reaction

Step by Dick's, a nationwide chain with store in Bend

Gun debate picks up across the country

BEND, Ore - Some lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are calling for changes to the nation's gun laws in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings.

As the discussions get under way, guns are flying off the shelves across the country. Many are fearful the government will take away or restrict their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"It is time to have a national discussion on gun control, and I think the (GOP) conference is ready to have that in a respectful (way)," said Ohio Republican Rep. Steven Latourette.

"People have talked about high-capacity ammunition clips, for example," said Jay Carney, White House press secretary. "That is something certainly that he (President Obama) would be interested in looking at."

People on both sides of the issue say they are ready to talk. But it was news from the sporting goods giant Dick's that caught the attention of the nation.

In a statement, the company said, "We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community.

"Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.

"We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy."

The reaction was mixed in Bend.

"I don't know if it's for me to say if it's right or wrong," said Kimberly Powell. "I certainly respect that decision. I think the choice to do something, vs. to do nothing, is a better choice."

"I think it is a nice, symbolic gesture," said Steven Olson. "It's a long way from what we totally need to do."

On our Facebook page many of you continue to weigh in on the issue. And with many questions still looming, the debate over this sensitive subject will continue.

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