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Feb 11, 2013 4:01 AM by Associated Press

Gun victims' relatives emerge as advocates

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers and other officials fighting over gun control invited the husband of a woman who was killed in the Connecticut school shooting to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

But Bill Sherlach declined.

He says he'd rather work within a group to see the gun issue addressed as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce violence, than become the nationally televised face of tragedy. He also doesn't want to be part of the heated rift over gun control that politics and dueling news conferences seem to inflame.

Victims of tragedy long have played major roles in the nation's most dramatic public policy debates, and there are few more bitter or expensive ones than this year's legislative battle over gun control.

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