Aurora shooting survivor teams up with Bloomberg to push for presidential gun control debate
New York Daily News: A young man who was shot in the neck during the Aurora movie theater massacre this summer is teaming up with Mayor Bloomberg to get the White House candidates talking about gun control during the debate this week.
Stephen Barton sits in an eerily empty movie theater in a new national ad urging voters to “demand a plan” from both President Obama and Mitt Romney to stop gun violence. The “Demand a Plan” campaign is an effort by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was co-founded by Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
“This past summer in a movie theater in Colorado I was shot — shot in the face and neck,” Barton says as he sits alone in a theater, with some scarring visible on the left side of his face. “But I was lucky. In the next four years, 48,000 Americans won’t be so lucky, because they’ll be murdered with guns in the next president’s term,” he continues. “Enough to fill over 200 theaters.”
“So when you watch the presidential debates, ask yourself: Who has a plan to stop gun violence? Let’s demand a plan,” he concludes.
Bloomberg and others urged Obama and Romney to promise a crackdown on gun violence after the mass shooting, but neither presidential campaign has made the issue a top priority.
The two White House contenders face off for the first time on Wednesday at the University of Denver, just about 10 miles from Aurora. The ad will air nationally during the week of the debate.
“When the candidates walk into that auditorium, I hope they’ll be thinking about another theater a few miles away where a dozen people were murdered, and dozens more were injured like Stephen,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “He deserves a straight answer about what the candidates plan to do about it.”
Barton, a Fulbright Scholarship winner and recent Syracuse University graduate, was on a cross country bike trip with a friend when they stopped to see the latest Batman movie. “I never thought I’d be a shooting victim until I was bleeding on a floor in Aurora,” Barton said in a statement. “I was lucky, but I’ve seen what happens when dangerous people get their hands on guns. And I think it’s fair to ask the men who want to lead the country to get past the platitudes and give us a serious plan to address a serious problem.”
I hate to tell this to Barton, yet you were all sitting ducks in that theatre. Had anyone been allowed to legally carry in that venue, they might have been able to prevent some deaths.
And if Bloomberg has his way, New Yorkers might want to start packing: “Bloomberg On Gun Control: Police Should Strike Until Government Acts On Gun Violence.”