Lewisville, Texas gun range offers pictures with gun-toting Santa Claus
LEWISVILLE, TX (KTRK) -- A Santa Claus in North Texas is packing more than presents.
At a gun range in Lewisville, kids pose for pictures with a gun-toting Saint Nick. Every year, the range holds this event where Santa holds an AR-15 as an incentive for children to get more information on gun safety.
"I think it's extremely important to train children, to educate them and take the mystery out of the guns," said store owner Nancy Prince.
Don't tell that to Reverend Peter Johnson, a strong advocate of stricter gun control. He thinks kids and guns sends a wrong message.
"But I think we have to begin to talk about our love affair with violence," said Rev. Johnson.
He believes violence in America would decrease if it was harder to obtain weapons. He helped take 22,000 guns off the streets in the past two decades during gun buybacks.
"We are not going to be able to take all the guns out of Americans' hands, but I think we must begin to talk to America about violence itself," Rev. Johnson said.
The owners of Eagle Gun Range say they don't advocate violence; they have numerous gun safety classes.
"This is one of the reasons we opened the range is to educate children to train them in the correct way to use them and it can be a fun sport; it doesn't have to be a dangerous sport," Prince said.
Gun rights advocates say the problem is the person behind the gun, not the weapon itself.
While the two sides differ on what needs to be done, both say they are united in pain and anger about what happened in Connecticut and both believe something has to be done so no more innocent children die in schools.
Several other gun ranges across the country offer a similar event around the holidays. A gun club in Arizona was one of the first to do it a few years ago when it released Christmas cards showing entire families holding military-style assault weapons with Santa.
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