Shelby says he owns guns; 'I hope you do, too'
by Elsie Hodnett
PELL CITY – U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby spoke about gun control and economic issues at a town hall meeting Tuesday afternoon.

“I was asked a while back if I owned guns,” Shelby said. “I said, ‘I don’t have a gun on me, but I do have guns and I hope you do too.”

Shelby said the person wanted to know how many guns the senator owned.

“I told them ‘enough,’” he said. “The Constitution gives us the right under the Second Amendment to own guns for self-defense and hunting. It doesn’t give the right to kill people just like you can’t run your car over people.”

Shelby said we should be careful who we teach to use guns.

“There are tragedies due to gun violence,” he said. “But you don’t want to punish the 300 million people because of those tragedies. I won’t vote to restrict your rights to guns.”

Shelby said violence is everywhere in the media.

“We should be careful who has the guns, who we teach to use those guns and respect guns,” he said. “We don’t want to take the right away to own guns.”

Shelby said he is also against registration of guns.

“Next thing you know—they’ll be taking our guns,” he said.

Shelby said he worries about this country, which has been so good to him and to everyone.

“We’ve all had some good years, but the country is in trouble economically,” he said. “We are borrowing our way to prosperity.”

Shelby said in 1980, the U.S. owed less than $1 trillion. In 1990, the figure was $3.2 trillion. In 2000, the number rose to $5.6 trillion and in 2010 it was $13.5 trillion.

“Today, it is $16.4 trillion and by 2020 it is projected to be $26.1 trillion,” he said. “That is the number one issue in Washington. If you want to be respected, you need a strong economic base—for research, education, defense, etc. With every nation, what brings you down is economics.”

Shelby said he opposed the bailouts.

“I don’t think it is wise to reward failure,” he said. “You reward success and punish failure.”

Shelby said he also voted against sequester, or automatic cuts to programs across the board.

“I think we should go through appropriations and do it the right way,” he said. “We ought to cut programs methodically, and see what really needs to be cut.”

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© 2013