GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "It was horrible," said Lawton. "It was probably the worst thing that ever happened to me."
Emotional wounds are still painful for Marcus Lawton of Gulfport. On December 27, 2006, his 17-year-old daughter Tiffany Talley was shot to death by her boyfriend, Jonathan Barfield. Lawton remembers having to break the devastating news to his wife.
"All we did was cry together, and me telling her it was hard; that she didn't make it," said Lawton.
Tears flowed again as Lawton watched an emotional President Barack Obama announce plans for tighter gun control.
"Hearing that speech, it definitely put me in a tearful moment," said Lawton.
But Lawton doesn't believe the president's strategy will do much to curb gun violence. The measure calls for all firearms dealers, at gun shows and on the internet, to be licensed and require background checks for buyers. Lawton says people who want to hurt or kill will find a way to get their hands on a weapon.
"There's already guns out there all over the place. If I wanted a gun right now, I'm sure I can go get one and not have to go to a pawn shop or a gun shop. I think I can obtain one without worrying about what the law may be," said Lawton.
Lawton said even if President Obama's proposed changes had been put in place nine years ago, they would not have prevented his daughter's death.
"I definitely know the gun that he had wouldn't have been registered. It wouldn't have been that he obtained it legally," said Lawton.
Lawton hopes the reforms will prevent suicides and stop mentally ill people from getting guns. Additionally, he believes the nation should target our youth by teaching them how to resolve their differences without resorting to violence.
Barfield was convicted of manslaughter in 2008 and is serving a 20 year prison sentence.