WORCESTER _ There are enough gun regulations on the books already, despite what happened recently in Colorado, gun owners at a Sunday area target shooting event said.
The Ponderosa 500 Yard Shoot has been held for 15 years at the Worcester home of Chuck Pinkey, owner of River Valley New Holland in Otego and a columnist for The Daily Star. It involves participants shooting rifles at targets across his property, measuring for accuracy.
Nationally, the discussion about gun safety has intensified since July 20, when 12 people were killed by a gunman at an Aurora, Colo., theater premiere of "The Dark Night Rises."
Running for November re-election, President Barack Obama said Thursday that existing laws needs to be enforced better, a day after talking abut the need to keep assault weapons off the streets. Republican opponent Mitt Romney agreed that increased enforcement is enough.
News reports said that the Aurora theater, like many others, prohibited patrons from bringing in concealed weapons. There were no uniformed guards on duty that night.
Gun owners who talked about the subject included Cordy Rich, 72, of Delhi. He participates in a lot of pistol and rifle events, winning the competition once, he said, but he did not shoot Sunday because of an injury.
What happened in Colorado was "really bad," he said. However, no more regulations are needed. "There are rules now," but the authorities "can't or don't enforce them."
If just one person at the theater had a gun, "everything could have been different," he said. Despite the president's statements on gun control, "very few people believe Obama," he said. "Romney will be OK."
Peter Mravlja, 59, of Westford, is the owner of Pete's Arms and Reloading Supply. He won the event twice before. "In a free society you are going to have crazies and there is no way to stop them."
Mravlja said that if people at the theater had been armed, the shooter might have been stopped before so many shots were fired.
There are plenty of laws to regulate guns.
"All they have to do is enforce them," he said.
Despite what Obama says on the subject, if he gets elected there is no end to the regulations that will be proposed, he said. He also voiced concern about the whole Democratic Party. Despite what people like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., say to assure people to the contrary, they want to make sure "no one has guns," he said. "It's part of their agenda."
Doug Anderson, 66, of Bainbridge, said that he has been shooting pistols and rifles competitively for decades, but this was his first time at the event. He is a bus driver for an area school, but said he did not wish to specify which one.
Some of the county's Founding Fathers saw the right to bear arms as a way to guarantee people are free from treason and tyranny, he said, adding that he believes that is just as true today. Since the theater was a gun-free zone, Anderson said, it should not come as a surprise that someone like the shooter James Holmes picked it.
"They know there is not going to be anyone to oppose them."
The shooters in these types of incidents are "cowards," he said. If two or three people had guns, "they could have brought it to a screeching halt."
Anderson said he feels that getting a gun license should be similar to what is necessary to drive a car, and that you should have a right to defend yourself if you are proven competent.
As a constitutionalist, Anderson is a supporter of Ron Paul for president.
"He's the only one telling the truth," Anderson said.
Michelle Sotile, 18, of Niskayuna, said she thinks there are enough regulations on guns already.
"I don't think everyone would have access to fully automatic weapons, but what is on the books is sufficient," she said.
Politically, Sotile said she is an independent, and doesn't have a point of view on the presidential race.
Jim Losie, owner of Losie's Gun Shop in Oneonta, said the murders were a "horrible thing," but it's difficult to stop someone who wants to do something "stupid," and guns are seldom used for such incidents, he said. However, guns are an important part of a free society.
The only thing the Founding Fathers got wrong was putting the right to bear arms as the Second Amendment, Losie said. Without it, Losie said, "you have no other freedom" if someone wants to take away your rights.