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Jan 17, 2013 7:23 PM by Erika Flores

January 8th survivors reflect on Newtown visit

TUCSON - In Tucson strangers come up to hug and to cry.

It's something Pam Simon and other January 8 survivors have gotten used to--the support of Tucsonans.

"Very positively coming together with love and warmth," said Simon.

It's something Simon and Roxanna Green, mother of the youngest January 8 victim, wanted to share with Newtown.

"It's a reality, so how can we move forward from that tragedy and make a difference," Simon.

One way they've decided to make a difference is by lobbying for more gun control.

"People are often resistant to change even if it is a positive change, so we need to make room for dialogue," said Simon.

That mission took them to Walmart where they delivered a petition with over 300,000 signatures asking the corporation to stop selling assault rifles.

"We don't think it's appropriate to sell strollers on one aisle, car seats on that same aisle and then two to three feet over to sell military style weapons," said Green.

Some agree with Green and Simon.

"I think it's a military weapon, and it should be left in the military," said Tucsonan Dan Johnson.

Others not so much.

"Even though they have a bad (reputation), I don't think they should be completely banned," said Mike Hayden.

Hayden said the survivors should spend their energy elsewhere.

"It's a terrible tragedy, but still it was just an individual who caused it, and we need to get to the root of the problem which isn't really guns, it's mental health issues," said Hayden.

Addressing mental health issues is also on the womens' agenda...anything that could help keep tragedies like January 8 or Newtown shootings from happening again.

"I want to make sure that none of the little innocent children died in vain, so I'll fight as long as it takes until we have change," said Green.

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