Survivors and Family Members of Gun Violence Victims Demand a Plan to Reduce Gun Violence From Washington

By NYC.gov - DEC. 17, 2012

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.

 

MIKE BLOOMBERG

Founder of Independence USA PAC, Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, Co-founder of the Partnership for a New American Economy, and Co-chair of Building America's Future

IN MIKE'S WORDS

We believe that tomorrow can be better than today. And we know that it’s up to us to make it so.

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