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Aurora Shooting Victims: Enough Is Enough

Bente Birkeland

Saying the country needs to take action now, a handful of Aurora Theater Shooting victims appeared at the state capitol Friday. They urged lawmakers to help curb gun violence.

“I don’t want to have to be standing here because my son was murdered because he went to the movie theater,” said Theresa Hoover. Her 18-year-old son A.J. Boik wanted to be a teacher, she also said the world is a darker place without him.

Sandy Hook shouldn’t have happened there needs to be something done to stop the assault weapons and the mentally ill from owning guns. It’s bigger than just that, but the conversation has got to start today, it should’ve started years ago.”

A victim from Columbine was also on hand along with three Democratic lawmakers who pledged to make gun control a top priority next session. “It’s too easy for criminals to get access to dangerous weapons. We need to do something about that,” said Representative Rhonda Fields of Aurora. She represents the district where the theater shooting took place and lost her own son in a 2005 murder.

Democratic leaders say every idea will be on the table, from banning assault weapons, limiting online gun purchases, and strengthening background checks.

Many gun advocates don’t think restricting access is the answer. Earlier on Friday, the head of the National Rifle Association called for more armed guards at schools and said “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Democratic senate majority leader Morgan Carroll of Aurora says she expects an epic political fight backed by a lot of money from the gun lobby.

“That said the price of inaction is far, far greater than whatever it is we’re stepping into. There are many ways we can fully respect people’s rights, but just be smarter about public safety,” said Carroll.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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