Dec 17, 2012  |  NYC.gov

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Bloomberg was joined today by survivors and family members of victims of gun violence to release personal videos demanding that elected officials in Washington D.C. take immediate action to reduce gun violence in America. The videos can be viewed at www.DemandAPlan.org.

View video of the Demand A Plan event here.

The videos tell the stories of 34 Americans whose lives have been forever changed - whether in mass shootings in Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson and Virginia Tech or in the daily gun violence that kills 34 Americans every day. The diverse voices hail from urban and suburban areas across the country, young and old, of different races and religious backgrounds. Every story is different, but all survivors are united in their belief that something must be done to prevent more tragedies like the one in Newtown, Connecticut and like the tragedy they personally experienced. 

"What happened in Newtown was an unspeakable crime - a mass murder in which six- and seven-year-old children were gunned down in their classrooms, along with their elementary school teachers and administrators," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Gun violence is a national epidemic - and a national tragedy - that demands more than words. It demands immediate national action, from the President and from Congress.  It needs to be at the top of their agenda."

"There are too many stories of those who have lost loved ones to gun violence - and far too many were added from Newtown just days ago," Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "To honor those we've lost, we must continue to demand a plan from lawmakers that will keep gun violence from taking more lives."

When the 113th Congress convenes in January 2013, the videos will be delivered to members to prompt leaders in Washington to pass common sense legislation to reduce gun violence. 

Legislative Agenda

  • Legislation now pending in Congress, the Fix Gun Checks Act (H.R. 1781/S. 436), would require a criminal background check for all gun sales. Current Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct checks on buyers, but private sellers, who often sell guns online and at gun shows, can sell with no background check at all. The loophole is enormous; an estimated 40 percent of all U.S. gun sales are private sales and not subject to the Federal background check, giving easy access to guns for felons, other criminals, the mentally ill, drug abusers and other individuals currently prohibited from purchasing guns by existing Federal law.
  • Some members of the coalition also have called on Congress to ban deadly, military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, many of which were previously banned under the now expired Federal assault weapons ban.
  • Mayors Against Illegal Guns also is seeking legislation to make gun trafficking a felony - as Senator Gillibrand and others have proposed.

Executive Branch Actions

The bi-partisan coalition will continue to push the President and the Justice Department to set a clear agenda to reduce gun violence and enforce the laws already on the books.

  • First, the coalition is asking the President to make the confirmation of a new director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms a higher priority than it's been so far. It has been six years since the ATF has had a confirmed director. Mayor Bloomberg urged the President to make a recess appointment to fill the vacancy.
  • Mayors Against Illegal Guns is asking the Justice Department to prosecute people who fail their gun background check after lying on the form - a Federal felony under existing law. In 2009, out of the more than 71,000 cases referred by the FBI, the Justice Department prosecuted just 77 of them. 
  • Third, the coalition is asking the President to immediately lift the Tiahrt gag order, which keeps the public in the dark about gun traffickers - specifically, who they are and how they operate.

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 725 mayors from across the country. It has more than half a million grassroots supporters, making it the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and   irresponsible gun dealers accountable; demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get   guns.  Learn more at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org

 About the "Demand A Plan" Campaign

Mayors Against Illegal Guns along with survivors and family members of victims of gun violence launched the Demand A Plan campaign last summer in response to the mass shooting in Aurora. More than 300,000 Americans have signed the petition on www.DemandAPlan.org to demand that lawmakers take action to reduce gun violence.

Summaries of the First 34 "I Demand A Plan" Videos

Each video bears testimony to the sorrow and trauma produced by gun violence in our nation and they all conclude with the same message: "I demand a plan."  Americans are invited to share their own stories to be posted on www.DemandAPlan.org. The videos of Chris Foye, Lori Haas, Mindy Moses, Nardyne Jeffries were played during the press conference by Mayor Bloomberg.

Colonel (ret.) Bill Badger was shot in the back of the head when a man opened fire at a January 8, 2011 "Congress On Your Corner" event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway in Tucson, AZ. The shooter, Jared Loughner, murdered 6 people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Giffords, before Col. Badger helped tackle him to the ground.

Stephen Barton was shot in the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater on July 20, 2012, in which 12 people were murdered and 57 others were wounded. Although the shooter had a history of serious mental illness and his psychiatrist had expressed concerns about his behavior to the university police, he was able to legally purchase 4 guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the two months prior to the shooting.

Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins's pregnant sister Nancy and her husband Richard were murdered on April 7 1990. The shooter, David Biro, had a history of mental illness, having been committed to a mental institution three years earlier, and was too young to lawfully purchase a gun. He had stolen the murder weapon, a .357 Magnum, from an acquaintance.

Pam Bosley's son Terrell was shot and killed on April 4, 2006 outside the Lights of Zion Missionary Bible Church. The shooter was never caught, and the gun was never recovered. Terrell was 18.

Nancy Bowman, a nurse, was grocery shopping with her husband David on January 8, 2011, when shooting broke out at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's "Congress On Your Corner" event outside the store. The shooter, Jared Loughner, murdered 6 people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Giffords. Nancy and her husband rushed outside and provided emergency medical care to many of the victims until ambulances arrived.

Reverend Kevin Fisher's uncle was killed with his own handgun when an intruder turned it on him. Years later, on March 13, 1995, Reverend Fisher's mother Beatrice was shot and killed in her home with a shotgun by William Bartlett Fisher, her husband and Kevin's father. Beatrice was 68.

Chris Foye's son Chris Owens, known as Booba to family, was at West 121st Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem when he was hit and killed by a stray bullet on April 26, 2009. The shooter was never caught, and the gun was never recovered. Chris was 13.

Carol Gaxiola's 14-year old daughter Jasmin was murdered on October 14, 1999, in retaliation for having witnessed an earlier drive-by shooting. Luis Rivera, one of the killers, had an extensive criminal history, but he and the other killer, Genara Gonzales, were able to purchase the murder weapon from a private seller at a gun show who did not have to submit them to a background check.

Joan Gilbert's son Jaren was shot and killed with a shotgun in July, 2006. The shooter, Bryan Cox, had a criminal record. Jaren was 26.

Colin Goddard was shot at the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, in which 32 of his classmates and professors were murdered. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer.

Dionne Gordon's brother Maurice, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, was shot and killed with a handgun outside his parents' home on June 21, 2010. The shooter was never caught, and the gun was never recovered. Maurice was 33.

Lori Haas's daughter Emily was shot and injured in the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, in which 32 of her classmates and professors were murdered. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer.

Nardyne Jefferies's only child, Brishell Jones, was eating pizza with a group of friends after attending the funeral of gun violence victim when men driving by in a passing car opened fire with an AK-47. She and two others were killed and nine were injured. Brishell was 16.

Bill Jenkins's son William was murdered with a gun during a robbery at a fast food restaurant in Richmond, VA. The 23-year old shooter had an extensive criminal record, including a conviction for illegally carrying a concealed weapon. He obtained the .380 semi-automatic handgun from an accomplice in the crime, who had taken it from her boyfriend. William was 16.

Amardeep Kaleka's father Satwant was murdered in the mass shooting on August 5, 2012, in the Sikh temple he helped found. Satwant confronted the shooter and tried to tackle him; he was shot and killed during the ensuing struggle. 5 other people were also killed and 4 were wounded. The shooter had a criminal history and extensive links to the white supremacist movement.

Pardeep Kaleka's father Satwant was murdered in the mass shooting on August 5, 2012, in the Sikh temple he helped found. Satwant confronted the shooter and tried to tackle him; he was shot and killed during the ensuing struggle. 5 other people were also killed and 4 were wounded. The shooter had a criminal history and extensive links to the white supremacist movement.

Lisa Kiser was in class at the University of Arizona School of Nursing on October 29, 2002, when a failing student, Robert Flores Jr., entered the classroom and killed three of her professors: Robin Rogers, Barbara Monroe, and Cheryl McGaffic.

Tracey Lane's son Jarett was murdered in the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, along with 31 of his classmates and professors. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer. Jarrett had just turned 22.

Uma Loganathan's father G.V. was murdered in the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, along with 31 of his fellow faculty and students. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer.

Pat Maisch was attending Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's "Congress on Your Corner" event on January 8, 2011, when Jared Loughner opened fire in the supermarket parking lot, murdering 6 people and wounding 13 others, including Rep. Giffords. When Loughner was knocked down by two other attendees, Maisch grabbed his ammunition clip, preventing him from reloading and shooting more bystanders.

Judy Martin's son Chris was murdered during an attempted carjacking outside of Bones Gym in East Cleveland on May 1, 1994. The shooter, Juwan Gardner, was convicted of murder.

Tom Mauser's son Daniel was murdered by two classmates in the mass shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Because they were too young to purchase a gun, the shooters convinced Robyn Anderson, an 18-year old senior, to buy guns for them from private sellers at gun shows who did not have to run background checks.

Mindy Moses's brother Steven was murdered in a random shooting at 24th and York streets in San Francisco on November 15, 1986. The shooter was never caught. Stephen was 23.

Sandy Moses's son Steven was murdered in a random shooting at 24th and York St. in San Francisco on November 15, 1986. The shooter was never caught. Stephen was 23.

Annette Nance-Holt's son Blair was on a bus heading home from school on May 5, 2007, when he was caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting. He died protecting another student. The shooter, Michael Pace, acquired the gun from a friend, Kevin Jones, moments before the shooting. Neither of them was old enough to legally possess the weapon.

Jerzy Nowak's wife Jocelyne Couture-Nowak was murdered in the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16,2007, along with 31 of her fellow faculty and students. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer.

Kamaljit Saini's mother Paramjit Kaur was fatally shot in the back while praying at a Sikh temple on August 5, 2012. Five other people were also killed, and four were wounded. The shooter, Michael Wade Page, had a criminal history and extensive links to the white supremacist movement.

Omar Samaha's sister Reema was murdered in the mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, along with 31 of her classmates and professors. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms. But his mental health records had not been submitted to the background check database, so he was able to pass a check and buy the murder weapons from a licensed gun dealer. Reema was 18.

Pam Simon was a Community Outreach Coordinator for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and was working at her "Congress On Your Corner" event on January 8, 2011, when Jared Loughner opened fire into the crowd. Loughner murdered 6 people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Giffords and Simon, who was shot in the wrist and chest.

Ernest Smith's son Jermaine Davis and his friend were shot to death outside of a convenience store in East Cleveland on November 14, 1997. The shooter was convicted of murder and related weapons charges.

Dr. Sheldon Teperman is the director of trauma surgery at the Jacobi Medical Center, where he treats gunshot victims every day.

Vicki Walker's daughter Kara and husband Dan were murdered with a gun in their car by Kara's ex-boyfriend, Daniel Renwick on October 5, 2000. Kara had an order of protection against Renwick, making it illegal for him to possess a gun. Kara's fourteen-month old son was in the car and survived the shooting.

Diane Xander's husband Mark was shot and killed outside his home by an irate neighbor, Charles Richter, who had held a longtime grudge against the Xanders on April 11, 2011. Mark was 56.

Pat Yuhas's granddaughter Kara and son-in-law Dan were murdered with a gun in their car by Kara's ex-boyfriend, Daniel Renwick on October 5, 2000. Kara had an order of protection against Renwick, making it illegal for him to possess a gun. Kara's fourteen-month old son was in the car and survived the shooting.

 


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