Posted: Feb 21, 2013 10:04 PM by Sam Salzwedel
Updated: Feb 21, 2013 10:06 PM
TUCSON - Lawmakers and a January 8th shooting survivor talked to about 75 people about gun violence.
The Foothills Democratic Forum organized the event Thursday night at Skyline Country Club.
Pam Simon was wounded in the Tucson mass shooting in 2011. She has been travelling the country and lobbying for gun control.
"To be part of the change is very healing," Simon said, "and to meet other survivors of gun violence only reinforces my desire to see something change."
Of all the proposals, Simon thinks universal background checks are the most feasible.
"We shouldn't be selling guns to criminals," she said, "and that can happen if you don't put them through a background check."
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik and Arizona State Representative Victoria Steele also talked at the forum.
Cities like Tucson are not allowed to pass laws that are stricter than state laws. Steele has introduced a bill that would change that. She says no committee will even hear a bill restricting guns.
"That's not going to happen," Steele said. "This is really frustrating, but we can't give up."
Steele cosponsored a bill that helps fund "mental health first aid." Thursday, she emphasized she does not want people thinking mental health and violence are always related.
The speakers also talked about issues like suicide and gun accidents. Kozachik offered free gun locks to people in the crowd and said there are more available at his Ward Office.
Ken Rineer is the President of Gun Owners of Arizona. He thinks there are ways to enforce current regulations without restricting the rights of gun owners who follow the law.
"It's the person behind the pistol that causes the problem," he said. "The firearm itself is the easy target rather than looking at the real problem with the issue."
Rineer does not think all private gun sales between 2 people should require a background check. Most gun sales require a check, but Rineer said the data is incomplete.
"The system itself is broken," Rineer said, "you have mental health records that are supposed to be added to it, yet they aren't getting added."
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Help those in need this holiday season
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
Win! Win! Win!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Let us help grow your business
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories