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Theater Shooting Victim Honored, Saddened To Attend State Of Union

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Steve Barton (credit; CBS)

Steve Barton (credit; CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – For the victims and the families of victims of the Aurora theater shooting President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Tuesday evening will be emotional. The victims will be listening closely to the president’s words about gun control.

CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll talked with theater shooting survivor Steve Barton, who made the trip to Washington, D.C. to talk gun control and attend the State of the Union address.

It was last July when CBS4 first met Barton in the hospital. He had bullet fragments up and down his left side. Some of those fragments are still in his body. When Barton got out of the hospital he didn’t nurse his wounds, but rather verbalized his frustrations and asked both presidential candidates to address an issue painfully close to his heart.

“I think of what happened to me every single day,” Barton told McCarroll. “I look in the mirror and see the scars on my body.”

On Capitol Hill Barton joined those touched by gun violence both at a news conference of victims and their families and at a Senate hearing on gun control. He will attend the State of the Union address. He said he’s honored to be included, but saddened by what brought him there.

“I’d like him to look the members of Congress, look at them in front of him and say, ‘You can’t stop avoiding this. You can’t stop avoiding your responsibility to your constituents by refusing to take up gun legislation,’ ” Barton said.

Some family members have specific recommendations on gun control. Others are there to listen, uncertain about what should be done, convinced that having lost a loved one, something must be done.

“I think it’s going to be inspiring. I never expected to ever attend any State of the Union speech,” Barton said.

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