Shelby talks debt, gun control in visit to Demopolis

Published 3:33 pm Saturday, February 9, 2013

The country’s debt and gun control were two issues that U.S. Senator Richard Shelby talked about repeatedly during a town hall meeting Saturday in Demopolis.

Gun control was the first thing Shelby mentioned to those who attended the lunchtime gathering at Mr. G’s and an issued he circled back to several times.

“That’s going to be a big debate, (but) you have a constitutional right to own a gun,” Shelby said.

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The senator said passing a gun control bill would be a slippery slope and something he would not support.

“I’m not supporting legislation that weakens the second amendment,” Shelby said.

Instead, Shelby said the country should focus on issues like mental health and violence in movies and television instead of punishing law abiding gun owners for “something someone else did.”

The senator also called on harsher penalties for those who commit crimes using guns.

“I really believe that people who commit a crime with a gun, they should be really punished,” Shelby said. “I think we are lax on it.”

Shelby also honed in on the country’s deficit, calling it the greatest threat to America.

“Nothing affects us more than our economic spending,” Shelby said. “You can’t borrow and spend and spend.”

The senator described the country’s deficit as “unsustainable.”

“We’re going to be like Greece,” he said.

Shelby also discussed funding for Social Security and Medicare saying while current recipients must be paid the benefits they have earned that some changes will have to be made for younger people.

“We ought to figure out a way to fund it properly,” he said.

Concerning the recent “fiscal cliff” negotiations, Shelby said he couldn’t support tax increases on anyone.

“For individuals, we ought to lower their taxes, not up them,” he said.

Shelby also took questions about healthcare, budget cuts, government regulations, taxes and foreign aid.