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On Aurora Shooting Anniversary, Victim’s Father Makes Gun Safety A Priority

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - Two years after his son, Alex, was murdered in the Aurora theater shootings, Tom Sullivan paid tribute to his real-life superhero.

A tattoo on Sullivan’s forearm — a Batman-style black ribbon with “Alex” inked above and “7-20″ underneath — helps commemorate Alex’s life. He also wears a button with a photo of Alex underneath an inscription that reads, “A real life superhero.”

July 20, Sullivan says, is “a day we kind of tiptoe through,” but because it’s his birthday, his family celebrates it and remember him fondly as their movie- and comic-buff son.

Alex Sullivan (credit: CBS)

Alex Sullivan (credit: CBS)

Still, the tragedy raised serious questions about gun safety for Sullivan.

“This needs to change. This can’t keep going on,” said Sullivan, who has campaigned in Washington for gun safety and joined with organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety. “By delaying conversation about this, by delaying any kind of progress on this, this stuff happens over and over again.”

He calls it his own version of therapy.

“There can’t be fathers who continue to have to bury their sons the way I did,” Sullivan says. “That needs to stop.”

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