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Apr 3, 2013 8:37 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Report: Arizona is one of 'worst' states for gun violence

TUCSON - Surrounded by reminders of those who were lost at a Tucson Safeway back in January 2011, survivors of the Tucson shooting gathered to push for tougher gun laws and universal background checks.

"Why are we even discussing this?" said Pam Simon, who was shot at an event for former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, adding: "Frankly it makes me angry... Why should congress be debating this? It is absolutely common sense."

Survivors were joined by city and state leaders to introduce a report released by the Center for American Progress. The comprehensive state-by-state report analyzes gun violence nationwide.

You can read the full report here: CAP Gun Violence Report.

The study shows that Arizona is one of the worst states in terms of gun-related violence.

"Arizona is the number four state in the country when it comes to the rate of gun violence," said Arkadi Gerney, a senior fellow for the Center for American Progress.

The study also targets Arizona as one of the worst offenders of gun violence specifically toward women, children and law enforcement officers.

The report found the high incidence of gun violence as a result of Arizona's relatively loose gun laws.

Several survivors of the Tucson shooting gathered at the Safeway where it happened to attempt to overcome the short attention span of the country on the gun debate.

That was something President Obama alluded to last week when he attacked an apparent fatigue within the gun debate, asking the country not to forget the Tragedy at Newtown.

"I do agree with the President... Shame on us... It's been two years since what happened in tucson.. .A little over a year what happened in aurora ... And over 100 days what happened in Newtown," said Daniel Hernandez, a Tucson shooting survivor and former intern for Giffords.

"But it's not just about these tragic mass shootings... It's about the 33 people that are being killed every single day," he said.

NRA Board Member Todd Rathner says it's politics at its worst.

"[Obama] did exactly what the NRA said he was going to do which was come after peoples guns, instead of trying to solve the real problems we have in this country," Rathner told News 4 Tucson.

As for refreshing the memory of Newtown and tragedies like it, Rathner is disgusted.

"It's absurd... And the fact that the president and his vice president would go out there and exploit the death of 20 children and six adults in order to push forward their political agenda is disgusting to me," Rathner said.

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