Survivors, Family Of Victims Of Gun Violence Demand Plan Of Action
DENVER (CBS4)– The survivors and family members of victims of the Aurora theater shooting and Columbine High School shooting demanded a plan of action at the state Capitol on Friday.
They joined state Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Morgan Carroll. Both are Democrats representing Aurora.
Fields and Carroll represent the district where the gunman shot and killed 12 people and injured 58 others on July 20 inside the Century 16 Theater.
The mother and uncle of 18-year-old A.J. Boik said during an emotional appearance at the state Capitol that it’s important to take action on gun control now and that it’s a conversation that should have happened years ago.
“For us not to do anything and say we need more guns and we need firearms out there is foolish right now. We need to change our society but we need the framework of where we’re going to live,” said Boik’s uncle David Hoover, who is a Lakewood police officer. “We want to prevent someone else from standing behind this podium from telling you what a wonderful loved one they had. It’s a shame.”
They spoke along side the Democratic lawmakers who have signaled that they will be introducing gun control legislation. One possibility includes a ban on assault weapons.
“If you’re going to respect law-abiding citizens right to own firearms that only works if you in fact do have a way of keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals and dangerous folks,” said Carroll.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has already called for a mechanism to more directly address mental health issues in Colorado in regards to gun ownership.
Following the morning’s moment of silence and bell ringing for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the victims families called for an end to the silence and demand Colorado and national leaders take serious and decisive steps to end gun violence.
The moment of silence was 9:30 a.m. Friday at the City County Building in downtown Denver to coincide with other moments of silence nationwide.
Earlier Friday morning the National Rifle Association took a different tone, calling for more armed citizens.
“We must give them the greatest level of protection possible. And that security is only available with properly trained, armed good guys,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
The gun lobby blamed the media for inciting a culture of violence.
The NRA said one solution is to have an armed police officer in every school.
“Simply adding more guns is not going to solve the problem,” said Carroll. “When you increase the influx of people who have guns without fixing the infrastructure you’re going to make the problem worse.”
State lawmakers will most likely discuss how people obtain access to guns during the 2013 Legislative session that begins next month. They will also likely entertain any idea that balances the Second Amendment and public safety.
“If we do nothing from this day forward we are all complicit to what happens beyond this day,” said Hoover.
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