Three survivors of the 2011 shooting in Tucson, A.Z. released a video Sunday in support of gun control, clashing with the father of a 9-year old girl who died in the incident.
Jared Lee Loughner, 23, opened fired on a crowd of people in Jan. 2011. The shooting left six dead, including A.Z. District Court Chief Judge John Roll and 9-year old Christina-Taylor Green. Four months later a federal judge ruled that Loughner was incompetent to stand trial due to a medical examiner’s opinion that the suspect suffered from schizophrenia and paranoia.
However, that same judge overturned his own ruling Tuesday when Loughner came forward in court, pronouncing, “I plead guilty,” to 19 out of the 49 charges leveled against him. As Loughner returns to a Mo. prison to await his sentence, three survivors of the shooting have come forward with a new video demanding that both presidential candidates take a stricter stance on the issue of gun control.
“48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the next president’s term,” says the trio in sequence. “President Obama, Governor Romney, we demand a plan.”
The advertisement is paid for by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg came under fire in July when he insisted that police officers across the country should go on strike, essentially ignoring their sworn oath to protect American citizens, until the legislature agreed to tighten its control over the second amendment.
Dan Amira explained at New York magazine that Bloomberg’s actions were treading dangerously close to a breach of the Taylor law, which declares that “no public employee or employee organization shall cause, instigate, encourage, or condone a strike.”
However, while these three survivors have been praised for speaking out, many other people seem to have forgotten the voice of John Green. Green, whose 9-year old daughter Christina died during the Tucson shooting, made his stance against gun control very clear only two days after the tragedy occurred.
“This is such a random act,” said Green. “I know [Christina] wouldn’t want things changed, would not want restrictions. … We don’t need any more restrictions on our society.”
None of the current presidential candidates have taken a drastic stance on gun control, presumably in fear of verbally stumbling before the November election. Nonetheless the voices of the Tucson shooting’s survivors, as well as those of the recent Aurora shooting, will inevitably play an important role as the debates heat up in the coming months.