While driving through Thomasville, I stopped at Quality Hardware on Randolph Street on Monday and prompted a few questions regarding the gun culture in America. President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Congress members have stated opinions of how the central government should address the issue of gun control. Davidson County Commissioners did likewise — at the local level. This time, the Times wanted to know what the people of Thomasville had to say.

Two employees and one customer in the store graciously answered the following questions:

What do you think are solutions for gun violence? Do you believe federal legislation, regulating gun rights for certain individuals, is the answer for school safety in the wake of mass shootings that have wracked the nation?

Basically, the laws we have are not working because the government doesn't have the money to put these people in mental institutions or places where they should be, instead of walking the streets. Most places don't have enough money to put more than one police officer at each school, and the schools are rather large. So I think anybody in the school, man or woman, that is licensed to use a firearm and knows how to use it, should be qualified and carry a gun to school.

— Carson Myers, employee of Quality Hardware

Somebody needs to have a gun (in schools), who is correctly trained and certified with permits. I think it would be good to have a National Guard member or reservee from the Army on school campuses. Why can't they pay them to walk around the schools like a SRO officer? In their uniform, if somebody sees them, it would make them think twice because they are trained to kill. That will never happen, but I think that would be the best solution. (Self-protection) is also the best solution for home protection. What if you don't have (a firearm) and they do? They could shoot you or take one of your kids. The possibilities are endless. If they come through the door without being invited through the door, it should be your right to do what you've got to do. It's your property, and they are there unlawfully.

— Dillon Webb, employee of Quality Hardware


It's not the guns; it's the people. If they take all our guns, the government's got all the guns. It's our right to defend ourselves and protect ourselves. I'm against them taking the guns. Once they take rights away, those rights will never come back. Why don't they do something about all this prescription medicine? It's just like drugs. People are going to get it regardless.

— Mike Taylor, customer