Aurora Shooting Survivor Demands A Plan To Reduce Gun Violence
48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the next presidential term. A new campaign Demands A Plan to prevent gun violence.
A survivor of the July mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado is appearing in a new TV ad asking the presidential candidates to explain how they will reduce gun violence when they meet to debate on Wednesday less than ten miles from the Cinemark theater where a dozen people were killed and 58 wounded.
The ad features Stephen Barton, a recent Syracuse University graduate and Fulbright Scholarship recipient who was shot while spending the night in Aurora on a bicycle trip across America. The ad will air nationally during the week that President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney meet at the University of Denver for their first face-to-face debate.
“I never thought I’d be a shooting victim until I was bleeding on a floor in Aurora,” said Barton. “I was lucky, but I’ve seen what happens when dangerous people get their hands on guns. And I think it’s fair to ask the men who want to lead the country to get past the platitudes and give us a serious plan to address a serious problem.”
Barton’s ad is part of the “Demand A Plan” campaign led by shooting survivors and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 725 mayors who advocate closing loopholes in laws designed to prevent felons, domestic violence offenders, the seriously mentally ill and other dangerous people from obtaining firearms.
In the ad, Barton sits in an empty movie theatre and urges debate viewers to demand a concrete plan to combat the gun violence that will claim 48,000 American lives during the next presidential term unless Washington acts. The ad can be viewed at www.demandaplan.org/bartonad .
“When the candidates walk into that auditorium, I hope they’ll be thinking about another theater a few miles away where a dozen people were murdered, and dozens more were injured like Stephen,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “He deserves a straight answer about what the candidates plan to do about it.”
“The brave young man in this ad, and so many other Americans whose lives have been shattered by gun violence, deserve to hear the candidates’ plans to prevent gun violence,” Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair Thomas M. Menino said. “The moment of silence from our national leaders has lasted too long. It’s time for real action to prevent the 34 murders that happen every day because of gun violence.”
“Our community knows all too well the pain of losing loved ones when guns fall into the wrong hands,” said Mayor Marjorie Sloan of Golden, Colorado. “We are very proud to welcome President Obama and Governor Romney to our state for the first presidential debate, but we also ask that they and our other national leaders address this important issue, not only for Coloradans, but for all Americans.”
Days after the Aurora shooting, gun violence survivors and the families of victims joined mayors to launch the Demand A plan campaign. More than 250,000 Americans have signed the campaign’s petition asking the presidential candidates to offer specific plans to reduce the gun violence responsible for the murder of 34 Americans every day. The petition is available at www.DemandAPlan.org.