Like any gun shop in West Virginia, Shooter’s Roost owner Eric Stratton has seen his share of customers wanting to buy a gun for similar reasons.

“Everything from political turmoil to home invasions, stuff like that,” Stratton said.  “A lot of self-defense.”

But since Stratton opened his shop’s doors in 2010, mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Sutherland Springs, Texas and countless others have gripped the nation in fear.

“When you’re insane, the sky’s the limit,” Stratton said.  “You work with the tools that you have. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of victims that have been killed with firearms.”

With supporters for gun rights and gun control butting heads, the question still remains: how can the Second Amendment be upheld while making sure the wrong people aren’t getting a gun?

The best way is to look at what’s already in place.

Since 1998, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, requires customers at gun shops to start by filling out a form of basic information.

“It’s just checking to see if there’s anybody with that name that was born in that location that’s ever even charged or is currently incarcerated,” Stratton said.  “They’re just wanting to make sure that that person doesn’t have a flag on their record.”

But in West Virginia, there’s more to the background check than just a detailed questionnaire.

All county sheriffs across West Virginia, including Scott Van Meter of Raleigh County, have access to the state supreme court’s mental health hygiene network, where a second check is done on those looking to purchase a gun.

“I go in, take this application, the applicant’s information, put it into the system,” Van Meter said.  “If it comes back that they are registered in the mental hygiene registry, then they’re not going to get a permit.”

Yet, even with these thorough background checks, no system is perfect.

For example, those looking to buy a gun from their friend or neighbor will find that there is no background mechanism in place.

“All you’re doing when you’re selling privately is just trusting that the individual is allowed to own,” Stratton said.  “There’s really nothing else to it. There’s no way for them to know whether or not they can or can’t own.”

With every right comes a responsibility.

Ahmed D. Faheem, M.D. of Appalachian Psychiatric Services says that only a small proportion of people who have psychiatric conditions or are seeking psychiatric help have the tendency to be violent. Yet, he stresses that anyone in possession of a firearm needs to have the inhibition on whether or not to pull the trigger, even if they have a mental condition.

“You have to have the capacity and capability to understand and handle that responsibility,” Faheem said.  “When your inhibitions are down, we need those controls from the brain to think and to do what we are expected to do in a social way.”

Regardless if there will be changes or additions to the current structure, there is no guarantee that bad things will not happen.

“Bad people are bad,” Stratton said.  “Whether they’re stealing firearms, even if they can’t pass a background check… or if they’re using their vehicles… plowing through crowds, hurting people. Evil people are evil.”

“People have been evil for thousands of years,” Van Meter said.  “We’re not going to stop that. Hopefully, we’re going to deter some of it, and maybe stop some of it. But you’re always going to have evil.”

“The right minds have to prevail,” Faheem said.  “The emotions have to be put down. We have to see what is in the best interest of us and the country… Without us, there’s no country. Without country, there’s no us.”