Mixed reactions to deal on gun bill - FOX 13 News

Mixed reactions to deal on gun bill

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Two key Senators reached a deal on Wednesday about gun control. They agreed to background checks for all commercial sales - that includes sales at gun shows and online.

But many are calling the new deal a watered-down version of what many Democrats and President Obama were hoping for.

Parents of 11 of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting were on Capitol Hill.

They wanted lawmakers to look them in the eyes, before voting on new gun laws this week.

But while the new deal expands background checks, there was no mention of expanding services for the mentally ill or keeping guns away from criminals.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor says that's a problem.

"So many of our neighbors appreciate the 2nd Amendment, but with some reasonable check on the mentally ill, the unstable, criminals," Castor said. "Simply to check and make sure it is much more difficult for them to get a gun, would make this community and this country safer."

But the question is, will any new law make our schools safer? Michael Dorn with Safe Havens International says no.

"There's no law we can pass or security device we can buy that will eliminate school violence," Dorn said.

Dorn consulted with Hillsborough Schools and recommended they add security guards to all of their elementary schools, in addition to the police at middle and high schools.

But while Dorn says the debate on gun control is healthy, he says schools need to make some changes on things that have proven to work.

"We've got a lot of things that we know are proven to work and are still not done in the majority of schools in our country. And we just don't want to overlook the clear choices that we have, to reduce the chances that a child or staff member would be seriously injured or killed."

Those things include controlled access around schools; fences, surveillance cameras, and armed security guards.

Dorn also says one key area that many schools are lacking is in their supervision of students.

"Most schools still don't have really good student supervision. There are actual techniques proven, to reduce incidents that simply involve where a teacher walks in relation to kids in a hallway or on a playground."

Safe Havens International is not a political organization.

"We simply look at data and we look at research and we look at individual situations, whether it be a tornado or an act of violence. They are terrible and we are just troubled that a lot of things that we know work, are not being done while we debate these many other possibilities."

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