Push For Gun Restrictions Begins In Washington
In the wake of the Newtown shootings, a push for restrictions on guns is beginning in Washington D.C. Washington bureau reporter Erin Billups filed the following report for NY1.
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In light of the massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, victims of other mass shootings that have plagued the nation for the past decade, made their way to Capitol Hill Tuesday.
"My son, Matt McQuinn, was 27, and he died in the Aurora shooting," said one speaker.
"My name is Colin Goddard. I was shot four times in the morning of April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech and survived," said another. "I'm here for the 32 that didn't."
"I'm from Chicago, and my son, Terrell Bosley, was murdered on church grounds," said a second. "I'm pleading with our leaders to help us."
Long Island Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son severely injured in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993, said the reaction to Friday's shooting may finally get Congress to respond to their pleas.
"We as a nation can do a better job," McCarthy said. "We can save lives."
McCarthy is working with California Senator Diane Feinstein to introduce an assault weapons ban in January. The White House is looking to close gun show loopholes, and McCarthy's bill banning large capacity magazines for guns, similar to those used by the Newtown shooter, is gaining momentum.
"The smaller amount of bullets in a clip can save an awful lot of lives," McCarthy said.
The Republican lawmakers NY1 reached out to that would speak tried to shift the focus away from gun control.
"This is a terrible tragedy. It has as much to do with mental health as much as anything," said Rep. John Carter of Texas.
The National Rifle Association,which has been largely mute since the shooting, released a statement late Tuesday.
"Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting," the statement read. "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
Gun control advocates said it seems the tide is finally changing.
"They say Friday's horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has changed everything, and it has," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "It is a tipping point."