LEWISVILLE, Texas (WFAA/WABC) - It's a new spin on taking pictures with Santa: a gun-toting Saint Nick and kids packing heat for holiday photos.
It's Christmas at the Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas. And that means pictures with Santa and his AR-15.
The owners say it's a child-friendly event.
"I think it's extremely important to train children, to educate them and take the mystery out of the guns," said gun store owner Nancy Prince.
Don't tell that to the Rev. 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," he said.
Johnson said 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," he said.
The owners of Eagle Gun Range say they don't advocate violence, adding that 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," said Prince. "And it can be a fun sport; it doesn't have to be a dangerous sport."
Gun rights advocates said the problem is the person behind the gun -- not the weapon itself.
"If people want to hurt another person, you know, they can use a baseball bat," said Prince.
"The difference is the baseball bat is for hitting a baseball, a gun is for killing people," said Johnson.
While the two sides differ about what needs to be done, both said they are united in pain and anger about what happened in Connecticut. Both said they believe something has to be done so that no more innocent children die in schools.
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