A sweeping majority of people support President Barack Obama's plan to install new gun laws in the U.S. A recent Gallup poll shows nine out of 10 Americans back some type of gun regulation.
Out of 1,013 people polled, 91 percent of Americans gave the strongest thumbs-up to a requirement of criminal background checks for all gun sales.
Eighty-two percent said the government should spend more on mental health programs for youth.
Sixty percent want to reinstate the assault rifles ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. At the same time, 60 percent want to limit the sale of ammunition magazines to those with 10 rounds or less.
The public debate has raged ever since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School claimed 26 lives just a week before Christmas.
This has left many asking if it's safer to be with a gun or without.
One woman, who was shot multiple times in the face about 28 years ago in another state, believes we have guns for a reason and is a regular at the local shooting range, The Bullet Hole. Leslie wanted to share her story, but not her last name, for safety reasons because the man who shot her is out of jail.
Each bullet fired while at the shooting range brings Leslie back to the day a bullet nearly struck her dead.
"The bang will never stop bothering me," she said.
Nearly three decades ago, she was at a friend's house visiting. Another man, a stranger to Leslie, was also there.
"I was sitting on the floor watching TV. My friend got up to get him a beer, and he followed him into the living room and killed him," she said.
Then the gunman came for Leslie.
"He came directly over to me, shot me three times and while I was lying on the floor … he came back and shot me a fourth time," she said.
Leslie stayed 12 days in the hospital but, three decades later, her recovery is day-by-day. For years she said she feared guns until she came to know how to safely and effectively use them. She said shooting guns helped to take the victim mentality away.
"To this day there are ramifications that never go away. You learn to live with it. You spend your whole life looking for the quick way out of places, if anything were to happen," she said. "You look people in the face because you want to know if they are looking at you in the face, to catch something in their eyes. You spend the rest of your life with it."
Each shot while at the shooting range takes her fear away. Leslie is trained and licensed to protect herself in her home. Like many, she agrees something needs to be done to calm gun violence. She wants criminal background and mental health checks for all gun sales. But she doesn't think limits on guns and magazines will stop the killings.
"If they take guns away from us, the bad guys are going to take the guns, and we're going to be defenseless," Leslie said.
She said no amount of legislation makes her feel safe.
"Do I trust legislation to protect me? No. I protect me. And that's about all you can do these days," she said.
Leslie thinks all women should take a conceal-and-carry class, even if they never plan on carrying a gun around. She said at least they'll know how to shoot a gun if the time ever came.
Wednesdays are ladies days at The Bullet Hole with female members able to practice for free.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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