Gun control debate sparks on Newtown anniversary



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Posted on December 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 10:40 PM

AUSTIN -- Bells rang at City Hall on Saturday as groups met to honor those killed in Newtown, Conn. one year earlier, while also resolving to never again be silent about gun violence.

The Texas chapter of "Moms Demand Action" as well as a group called "Texas Gun Sense" met to remember the 20 children and six adults killed in Newtown. They were asking for what they called "common sense gun reform."

The group rang the bells in place of a moment of silence. Organizers said it's a promise to never be silent again and to speak up about gun violence. They are calling for harsher restrictions, including universal background checks.

"I resolved that I needed to do something. I couldn't be silent about gun violence and I couldn't sit back and let another tragedy like that happen without feeling like I'm doing something to make things better here in America," said Moms Demand Action regional manager Hilary Rand.

Some gun rights activists say universal background checks might not be the answer.

"On that sad day, that criminal committed 41 crimes. 41 crimes. There are no more new laws we can put on the books that would have prevented it from happening. What we can do is put the guns in the hands of law abiding citizens," said Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill.

Cargill said the focus should be on mental health and keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Several other people spoke Saturday at City Hall, including State Rep. Donna Howard and a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting.


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