CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There’s no doubt the debate over gun reform is polarizing; not only in Tennessee, but across the country.
“Personally, I feel like it’s so easy to get guns nowadays. In Tennessee, you just walk into the store, swipe your credit card or debit card and you’re good,” Clarksville resident LaBrea Brown-Nichols said. “You don’t even have to take a class, you don’t have to register it, you can keep it on you. You could just go to the gun range and just shoot and people do more than that.”
Another Clarksville resident disagreed, separately.
“Guns don’t kill nobody. It’s the people that use the guns, their attitudes,” Ruby Jennings said. “Their hearts aren’t right with God, their hearts aren’t right with each other.”
In Tennessee, Clarksville is a pretty good mix of both Republicans and Democrats.
A burgeoning landscape, in 2020, Montgomery County broke about 55 to 42 for former President Donald Trump. But in its state house district, it broke about 55 to 45 for former Rep. Jason Hodges (D-Clarksville) during the same year.
So, it’s generally a good barometer for the pressure cooker of politics, and, in this instance, firearms.
“I just don’t think that I should give up my gun rights to keep from protecting my family just because of people who want to go crazy with their guns,” Clarksville resident Bob Williams said.
The debate is a polarizing one.
“Guns are like this rock right here. I call that a gun,” Williams said, as he picked up a rock. “That ain’t going to do nothing to you. But if I put this in a sling and yank it up between your forehead, probably you could die.”
Everyone we spoke with agreed something needed to change, whether it was regarding mental health or true gun reform.
“We don’t kill anything we don’t eat or wear, and usually it’s both if we can do it,” Williams said. “We’re Southerners.”
“Every week it seems like somebody’s getting shot, and I seem to be somewhat, kind of, close in relation,” Brown-Nichols said, separately.
Proposals for tougher gun control have brought strong opinions and polarizing viewpoints from state lawmakers. News 2 explores what the people of Tennessee think in a special Voices of Tennessee report.