The Athens Daily Review recently asked the residents of the East Texas town of Gun Barrel City what they think about gun control in the wake of recent school shootings such as the one at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
In a place where the city's slogan is "We shoot straight with you," there wasn't much support for restricting the use of weapons.
“Gun control will not stop school violence,” Gun Barrel City resident Bill Long told the Athens newspaper. “If someone wants to go crazy and shoot up a place, they will do it. You can't get into everyone's brain to figure out what they are thinking.”
Gun Barrel City sits about 60 miles southeast of Dallas, along the shores of Cedar Creek Lake, which is owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District and supplies raw water to Tarrant County. One of the main roads in town is Gun Barrel Lane.
The town's gun-toting reputation is nothing new.
In 2013, the city drew attention for urging residents to buy guns, according to the Dallas Observer.
Gun Barrel City also grew some national attention for John Joe Gray's 16-year standoff with local authorities. Gray, who actually lives closer to the nearby town of Trinidad, was described as a "gun-toting fanatic" and "anti government zealot," according to the Star-Telegram archives.
Some residents told the newspaper that that the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., couldn't happen in Gun Barrel City since "most attending the movies are packing their guns."
Chris Rea, a recent transplant to the area after Hurricane Harvey, told the newspaper that the area's local school district, Mabank school district, is doing a good job to protect his son. Arming teachers would make him feel even safer.
“I feel my son is safe at school, but I would feel even better if there were well-trained armed teachers in his school,” Rea said.
One resident, Jeanette Hanafi, was in favor of tighter restrictions.
“As long as there are military-grade weapons available for legal purchase, our schools or other public places will never be safe,” Hanafi said.