As hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington and local state legislatures, exercising their rights to vocally protest the gun lobby, advocates across the country have also been toiling away on a less visible plan for gun reform, taking it state by state.
In Colorado, three gun rights activists who lost family members in Columbine, Aurora, and Sandy Hook testified for lawmakers at two hearings. At the first, they spoke in support of legislation that proposed a ban on bump stocks — the accessory used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire faster. In the second hearing, they fought against a bill to repeal the current ban on high-capacity magazines.
Colorado is generally a pro-gun state, and so far, activists like Tom Mauser, Tom Sullivan, Jane Daugherty and other mass shooting survivors have had more losses than wins.
Though they believed their chances might be better this time around with the renewed momentum behind the national gun debate, state lawmakers didn’t take the bait. And even among those directly touched by gun violence, a consensus remains elusive: Patrick Neville, a Columbine survivor and lawmaker, tells us he doesn’t buy the idea that increased gun control will create safer schools or communities — and he’s far from alone.
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