Families of mass shooting victims knock on lawmakers’ doors to call for an assault weapons ban

Families from shootings in Texas, Florida, Connecticut, and Colorado came together as they call on lawmakers to do more to reform gun laws.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Inside the halls of Congress, a group of people gather.

The group likely would have never met, if it were not for the gun violence that rocked their lives and killed their family members.

“I said before I don’t want to be sharing her story. I want her here to create her own story,” said Kimberly Rubio, who is here in the offices of Senators to advocate for 10-year-old Lexi Rubio who died in the Uvalde school shooting.

Beside her stands the families of other victims from Parkland, Florida, Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut.

“I want to see to see their reaction face-to-face and unfortunately yesterday, we saw one of the faces. It’s a telling story on what he thinks about it all,” said Felix Rubio as Kimberly Rubio chimed in “it’s Ted Cruz.”

Cruz is calling for the passage of a Secure Our Schools Act that would use leftover COVID funds to put more police officers and mental health counselors in schools.

But the Rubio’s don’t think it’s enough. They want to see an assault weapons ban passed.

“That’s not enough,” said Kimberly Rubio about Cruz’s call to action. “That did nothing for students and the two teachers of Uvalde and even at that why do you want our schools to look like prisons? You know that’s not how our children should be growing up. And, that’s a reactive approach and we’re looking at a proactive stance which is the federal ban of assault weapons.”

Also joining the families of mass shooting victims is Connecticut mother Kristin Song, whose name has become well known on Capitol Hill. For years she has been advocating for a national safe storage law after her son Ethan was killed in an accidental shooting with an unsecured gun in 2018. Ethan’s Law has passed the House but remains stalled in the Senate.

“We are lobbying the senators to try to get onboard with Ethan’s Law. Also, we are discussing the assault weapons freeze,” said Song, who later added, “76% of all school shooters get their guns from home or a relatives home and those guns are unsecured.”

It’s a message that puts her mission, side-by-side with families like Felix and Kimberly Rubio.

President Joe Biden said he supports an assault weapons ban. Meanwhile Congress passed bipartisan gun reform earlier this year which expanded things like background checks.

Song said that action has helped lawmakers become more interested in considering proposals like hers for safe storage reform.

“They’re much more interested. From the time I started lobbying four years ago to the time now, there’s a lot more interest,” said Song.

The group also visited lawmakers such as Senators Tammy Duckworth and Joe Manchin.

The families hope to see more gun reform legislation move forward next year.

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