- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
- Former Reagan aide James Baker: President regretted apartheid veto
- Some donations to gay waitress who allegedly forged hate note refunded
Aurora shooting anniversary speakers make push for more gun laws at vigil
AURORA, Colo.—Speakers at a vigil marking the one-year anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting urged lawmakers to approve tougher firearms laws while gun-rights supporters watched from the wings.
Several relatives of shooting victims spoke at a press conference at Cherry Creek State Park before participants in Mayors Against Illegal Guns' "No More Names" campaign began reading the names of people who died after being shot in the past year.
"We cannot afford to sit idly by as more and more of our loved ones are killed with guns," said Jane Dougherty, whose sister was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. "Please join me in demanding that our elected officials have the courage to lead and pass the Gun Violence Prevention Bill."
Stephen Barton, who was shot in the face and chest in the July 20 Aurora theater shooting, said "thousands of people are murdered with a gun every single year."
"Not only that, but we have loopholes in our laws that enable that sort of error and we don't do a good job of keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people," said Mr. Barton. "I really hope we can honor the people we lost today and try to move forward the best we can."
Meanwhile, several dozen gun-rights advocates stood quietly about 50 feet away in a fenced-off "spectator area" monitored by Colorado State Patrol officers.
Tina Griffiths of Denver, who carried a homemade "You Can't Have CO's Guns" sign, said she attended the event both to show support for the victims of the Aurora shooting and to stand up for gun owners.
"In part, I'm here for them," said Tina Griffiths of Denver, referring to the victims' relatives. "How can we not have sympathy for the victims' families? They lost someone they loved."
At the same time, she said, "just because they [the killers] had a gun doesn't make the rest of us criminals."
Several speakers blamed "gun violence" for the deaths of their family members, which Jeff Gunn of Colorado Springs said wasn't entirely accurate.
"No, they were killed by crazy people," said Mr. Gunn. "What they're not saying is that all those people passed background checks, except the Sandy Hook shooter, who stole his guns."
The vigil was scheduled to continue until 12:38 a.m. Saturday, marking the start of the Aurora shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured during the midnight premier of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century 16 theater.
Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex Sullivan was killed in the massacre, said he became active in the state's gun debate this year by testifying before the Colorado state legislature, which approved three gun-control bills in March.
"I decided that when the debate started here in Colorado on some common-sense answers to gun violence, I could go to the state capitol and listen to what was being said," said Mr. Sullivan. "I could stand in line to testify in favor of new laws that I hoped would make my community safer."
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had lobbied in favor of the bills, which became a sore point among Colorado gun owners. Several gun-rights ralliers blamed Mr. Bloomberg for pushing an East Coast agenda on a Western state with a culture of gun ownership.
The organization launched a 25-city, 100-day "No More Names" bus tour in June, but came under criticism last month for including the names of several suspected murderers, including Boston marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Los Angeles cop killer Christopher Dorner, in the names of those killed by gun violence.
The group apologized for including Tsarnaev's name last month, saying in a statement, "[I]t should not have happened, and we sincerely apologize."
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Fast-food protests spur backlash
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Gay couple's complaint against Colo. baker gets hearing
- Fracking supporters fire back at 'woefully misinformed' celebrities
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Ezekiel Emanuel: If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can under Obamacare
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kabul, gets no invitation from Afghan President Hamid Karzai
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!