COPPERAS COVE (January 28, 2013)—U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford, hosted an open forum Monday on firearms issues at JT Sports in Copperas Cove.
Williams was elected in November in a new congressional district that includes all or part of Bell, Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, Hays, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas, Somervell, Tarrant and Travis Counties.
He said he was in Central Texas to show his support for the Second Amendment in the wake of the call for stricter gun laws after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Williams told a small crowd Monday he wants solutions and not slogans from President Barack Obama.
"Let me be clear, I am willing to work with the president and anyone else to find a real solution to the challenges we face," Williams said.
Former state Rep. Suzanna Gartia Hupp joined Williams at the forum Monday.
Hupp survived the 1991 Luby's cafeteria massacre in Killeen, but her parents, Al and Ursula "Suzy" Gratia, were among the 23 people killed in the shooting rampage.
Hupp said on the day her parents died she had a gun in her car but didn't take it into the restaurant.
After the shooting she became a passionate supporter of gun rights.
"Having a gun is not a guarantee but it changes the odds and I certainly think it prevents these high body bag counts that we're seeing now," Hupp said.
Other members of the crowd said they wanted to see lawmakers make moves that would help authorities take closer look at the mental health of individuals who are trying to get a gun.
"I don't believe that the average American person that thinks through things logically doesn't want both sides of the extreme coin to win out. I think there's a middle ground where we can all come together and just take a logical approach and say 'OK, do we need background checks? Yes, I believe we do'," gun owner Louis Braucci, Jr. said.