President Obama joined the Newtown, Connecticut community last night to comfort the families of the victims. He vowed to, “use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
Steven Barton survived the Aurora, CO theatre shooting to see this tragic event in his own hometown. He says, “We have basically heard the same message after Aurora, after Tucson, and those words weren’t followed by any action. I mean, he spoke more forcefully last night, but it remains to be seen if anything will actually come of those words.”
Hit with 25 shotgun pellets in his face, neck, and chest, he now works as the Outreach and policy associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
If he could begin the process today, Barton states he would start with background checks. “Currently 40% of guns sold in this country under federal law aren’t subject to a background check. There’s been a lot of talk about high cap magazines, assault weapons. But if you want to reduce the 34 Americans murdered with guns every single day, background checks are the easiest way to do that and the simplest way to do that,” he says.