Support for gun control wanes in America

By Henni Espinosa and Raul Legaspi, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Nov 02 2013 08:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 02 2013 04:14 PM

GLENDALE, Arizona – Almost a year after a shooter barged into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and killed 20 students and six school staff, support for tighter gun control laws in the country has waned.

In 2012, a Gallup poll showed that 59% of Americans want stricter gun laws. Now, that figure has dropped to 49%.

The new Gallup poll also showed 37% of Americans want to keep the laws as they are now.

Those who are against banning handgun ownership stayed at 74%, a record high reached last year.

In Glendale, Arizona, Dr. Fernando de Castro and his wife, Eileen, said being able to keep and carry a gun, is not only their right. It’s their protection.

"We bought the gun, mostly for safety," Fernando said.

"Yung first time naming dating sa States, madalas siyang out of the house kasi nagre-residency training pa siya noon. So yung anak ko at saka ako we were always left alone in the house. So ang ginawa niya is bumili siya ng gun just to make sure I can protect myself and our son when he is not at the house. He feels more comfortable alam ko kasing gumamit ng baril,” Eileen added.

But while they are pro-gun ownership, the de Castros believe there should be better gun control laws in the country.

They said those suffering from mental illnesses should not be allowed to own a gun.

“People that should not have guns should not have guns,” Fernado said, “The problem is, anti-gun people want to take away guns from people that are following the law, that legally own guns.”

As Congress continues to debate gun control legislation in the country, Eileen said the government should invest in educating the public about guns.

Eileen concluded, “Yung gun is not to make you feel like pwede kang sumugod into any situation. The first rule of gun safety is to try to back off safely as much as you can. Last resort lang yung paggamit ng baril. If anyone wants to own a gun, dapat education is their focus kasi safety should be the priority."