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Sun Times Feature Story

Losing an important battle

By Larry Blustein
It’s already a topic that has dominated the race for president. Now, with less than five months to go before Decision Day 2016 - in November - gun control will spill over locally.
No matter what community will head to the polls locally later this year, you can almost guarantee that at a rally, debate or public gathering, the topic will gain steam and will be something that decision makers will need to answer.
While the devastation from Orlando is fresh in the hearts and minds of everyone around the world, we are now back to reality - and that reality is that getting a gun is too easy, and the truth that needs to be told is that we are not even close to getting this thing under control.
As candidates from many area communities go through their pre-election ritual of campaign promises and ways to lower taxes and make life better, they cannot even come close to start tackling the gun control issue, especially when it’s a major problem in Washington D.C. and throughout the world.
The problem may come from the fact that every group or individual believes that he or she has the answer for making it harder to get a gun. They don’t and really can’t! It would be impossible, but they won’t stop telling everyone how their ideas will make a difference. It’s how they get support and people following.
“If I am running for office in Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood or Aventura, the last thing I would be talking about is gun control,” Hollywood resident Kris Lopez said. “We have senseless murders every week down here - just open the paper - or listen to the news. The toughest issue to tackle is this gun control, because any bad guy that wants a gun will always get one. So, it would make sense that running on any gun control platform would be a waste of time and effort. ”
While it sounds nice for Donald Trump to come up with the “easy” way to curb gun control by profiling and banning everyone - it is not a reality and will never, ever happen. It’s totally impossible and comes without thinking about the statement.
Julie Kalen of North Miami Beach and her boyfriend Rick Thomas are gun owners who happen to work in security, which includes protecting high profile people when they come into south Florida. Both are of the opinion that because there is no defined blueprint to get the gun issue under control - without offending much of the world, the government needs to look in another direction.
“I have owned a firearm for 25 years,” Kalen said. “I grew up in a law enforcement family, and you learn a lot about what makes the bad guy tick. It’s a mental health issue that passes by the system far too often. A sane person does not kill at the magnitude that these killers and so called terrorists have been lately.”
The mental health issue has really been a non issue with Trump or Hillary Clinton. The only news that comes out of either camp is gun control - or some form of that potential law. Local residents realize that any attack or murder is terrorism, and it doesn’t have to come from “ISIS,” or those groups who believe they are aiding in some pathetic form.

We all understand that there is a huge problem when it comes to gun control, and those who get them legally or illegally, but to start pasting up statistics and trying to compare large cities to smaller municipalities is another waste of time. In fact, many feel strongly about the current programs to at least get some of the guns off the streets.
For longtime Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor and Commissioner Bill Julian, the topic of guns and gun control comes up all OF the time, but even he knows that while you have to answer the questions, coming up with the solution that everyone wants to hear, is nearly impossible.
“We as a community, can host the gun buy-back program and attempt to rid the streets of firearms the best way possible, but we cannot make laws,” Vice Mayor Julian explained. “The problem is compounded by the fact that if someone wants a gun and is willing to pay for it, they can get one. No questions asked.”