SOUTH BEND – The controversial and emotional issue of gun control brought together a panel of advocates Sunday to debate the topic in South Bend. Among those weighing in was none other than Ron Teachman, South Bend's new chief of police.
"I don't think gun deaths are natural and should be accepted in our society," Teachman said. That's why Teachman says everything should be on the table when discussing gun control including restricting or banning high caliber magazines and assault rifles.
He joined a panel discussion on WNIT's "Politically Speaking."
"And frankly most people that have these assault rifles don't hunt at least not for other than the human species," he said.
"The important thing to note is we're talking about the same rate of fire. It's just looking different," said 95.3 MNC conservative talk show host Casey Hendrickson.
Teachman and Hendrickson didn't agree on much during the discussion.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, there's been discussion of what more needs to be done in the mental health arena, and there's been talk of arming teachers in schools. It's a notion Teachman vehemently opposes.
"Finding someone who's appropriate to teach our kids is tough enough, and we're blessed to have great teachers here in South Bend, but to have them now have to take on a gun that they'd be morally disinclined to or uncomfortable with it. I think that's bad all day," said Teachman.
"Owning a firearm is your absolute right and there's a difference between driving your car and having the freedom to drive your car, it's a privilege, not a right. There are differences, so we have to acknowledge that when we approach this," Hendrickson said.
"The second amendment is not absolute. I think the history of our country shows there are certain weapons society shouldn't have access to," Teachman argued.
Although there was plenty of disagreement among the panelists, everyone acknowledged the importance of at least starting the conversation.
As for pushing for gun control at the local level. Teachman says he is waiting to see what happens with the proposals currently before Congress.