gun legislation

Victims’ families plead for ‘safer’ gun legislation

by Jackie Kucinich, USA TODAY  |  published on February 14, 2013

Before 8 a.m. Tuesday, the 11th floor of the Hyatt Regency hummed with activity as a group of unlikely lobbyists prepared for a long day on Capitol Hill.

They wore different-colored ribbons and pins; some wore buttons with photos of a loved one, conveying grief and remembrance for someone close to them killed by a gun.

More than 120 family members and survivors of gun violence used the day of the State of the Union Address to come to Washington to urge politicians in person to act to prevent gun violence from affecting another family.

At a breakfast before their day on Capitol Hill began, they were briefed by staff of Mayors Against Illegal Guns about what to expect as they moved from events that included meetings with lawmakers, a Senate subcommittee hearing on gun violence, a press conference and a White House visit.

For about half of those listening to their instructions, this would be their first time in this role.

Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, said advocating for change that could help someone else is a way to heal for some in the group.

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