Father and gun owner speaks about AR-15 debate

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - Ron Martin is just like any other neighbor on this Georgetown street, "We have a family of five, we go to work, we pay our bills, we pay our taxes."

But there's one thing that sets him apart from others, he owns guns, specifically the AR-15 a gun that is being considered for a nation-wide ban.

"I don't hunt, never really had the desire to. So it's basically for target practice," explained Martin.

Instead, this father chooses to use his guns for target and competitive shooting. He said he especially enjoys the bond that he shared with his father, who served in the military, and one that he's passing on to his children.

However, he said he has only taught his oldest children and that his two youngest are too young to be around the guns. So he keeps his guns in a locked safe and he's careful about the lessons he passes on.

"This is the real thing, it's not a toy. You may see different things on movies, that's the movies, this is real life," he went on to quote, "It's safety first, safety always, and safety last."

Last week, Martin, like the rest of the nation, watched stunned as word spread of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"There's no real words that can put it exactly how you feel when you hear something like this."

Since then, the President and others are calling for a task force to be set up and look into a possible ban of the weapons.

"There's no doubt that this has to be a central issue," addressed President Barack Obama.

"It shouldn't be a Democratic or Republican issue. It's all of us as Americans," said Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, the Democratic Representative from New York, "and we don't want to see anymore of these shootings again."

While many across the nation, including the President, are questioning the AR-15 Martin said this can be just like any other high-powered rifle.

"It looks, for lack of terminology, meaner. It looks more agressive," Martin described that he can understand the negative image that some can have of the semi-automatic weapon.

However, he's quick to counter that there are rifles that are stronger and have a higher power than the AR-15.

Martin said he was drawn to the AR-15 because it has a lighter weight and is easier to hold and shoot. There is less kickback which makes it easier to teach his children with, and the ammunition is cheaper than other calibers.

Still, this gun owner said that properly owning a gun is like owning a car. There are risks when you abuse the use. He said if someone drinks and drives, it can have just as dangerous of a consequence as someone who abuses a firearm.

"Understand they're owning something that is dangerous, just like owning a vehicle. You have to take the proper care and have proper responsibility."

Which is what he's been taught and what he's teaching his children.

Now, Martin and the rest of the nation watch and wait to see what will be decided about these high-powered rifles.

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