INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – More than 100 gun violence victims gathered downtown on Saturday, calling on NRA leaders to support expanded background checks and other so-called “common sense” gun control legislation.
The group included Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the principal killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“I know that if the roles were reversed and my mom was in my position and I was the one killed in the school that day, that my mom would be doing exactly what I am,” said Lafferty. “She wouldn’t turn her back on me and I will not turn my back on my mom.”
“We are not anti-gun. We absolutely support the second amendment. Many of our moms are gun owners. But with rights come responsibilities,” said Shannon Watts of Zionsville, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
She said her group, founded in the days after Sandy Hook, now has chapters in every state.
Other speakers included a professor who was on lockdown during the Purdue campus shooting earlier this year.
“Today, here, now, let’s make a promise to our children: a promise of a safer world, a safer town, where grocery stores, movie theaters, places of worship, city streets, community centers are all safe from gun violence,” said Mary Reed in front of the crowd. Reed survived a grocery store shooting in Tuscon.
An NRA spokesperson said the organization was instrumental in getting the national instant background check system started and supports improving it.
“There are 23 states that right now don’t even share information on mental health records. We’ve gotta start by fixing that database before we start expanding it,” said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen.
She said the NRA is currently working with all 50 states to improve record-sharing to identify people who are mentally ill and shouldn’t have a firearm.
But she said no legislation would be able to control private party sales.
“As far as it being universal, we know that it will never be universal because we know criminals don’t abide by the laws,” she said.