Michelle Southern reporting.
The Lafayette theater shooting is sparking arguments over gun control once again and whether more laws are needed to prevent such tragedies. Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarman says we need stronger gun laws so that Americans can feel safe going about their daily lives.
He says the entire gun industry needs serious reform.
"It's how their products have changed and how that facilitates shootings like this," said Sugarman.
Sugarman says in 2013, Louisiana's per capita firearm homicide rate was the first in the nation, and it ranked second in the rate of overall gun death according to the CDC.
He says the all too often unacknowledged fact is that gun violence takes a heavy toll on the state.
"Louisiana has a gun violence problem, it's well documented," says Sugarman. "And this unfortunately lays manifestation of it."
59-year-old John Houser opened fire on a theater full of people last week and two women died while several others were injured.
Wade Duty with the Louisiana Gun Association says piling on additional gun laws would not have altered this man's behavior.
"I'm not even sure how the dots connect in a rational person's mind how additional restrictive gun policy is going to improve the behavior of the mentally ill," said Duty.
Duty says the best immediate response to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. He says the Lafayette Police Department did an amazing job responding to the scene very quickly, but cops aren't there when a shooting takes place.
"You are your own first responder. Law enforcement is coming as fast as they can, but you're the one on the scene," says Duty. "You don't wait for the fire department if you already have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen."