For Immediate Release • July 19, 2013 • Contact: Media [at] BradyNetwork [dot] org
(Washington, DC)-- One year ago on July 20th, an almost unimaginable 82 people where shot, 12 dying from their injuries, while sitting down to watch a movie in an Aurora, Colorado theater. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today honors the memory of those who died, and reaffirms dedication to preventing future incidents of gun violence.
“We were all shocked and heartbroken when we learned of the shooting in Aurora. Our first thoughts were with the families of the victims, as they are again today,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “I know firsthand the way gun violence can impact a family and cause endless pain. No family should have to suffer the way these families in Colorado have over this past year.”
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips lost their daughter Jessica Redfield Ghawi in that movie theater and have since turned their pain into positive action. Sandy has become a passionate and effective spokesperson and campaign manager for the Brady Campaign.
“There are barely words for how we feel. We miss our precious daughter and wish she were here. We would like to say thank you for all of the support we’ve received from people across this nation. The thoughts, prayers and kind words have sustained us over these past twelve months,” said Sandy and Lonnie. “No parent should have to go through this tremendous pain, and we are thankful that we are able to turn this tragedy into something useful, which is a fight for common sense gun laws in our country. We have made some progress since Jessica’s death, but we are not there yet. We will never give up fighting to protect everyone’s children and hopefully spare other mothers and fathers from the unimaginable pain of burying a child.”
After the mass shootings in both Aurora and Newtown, millions of Americans rose up to make their voices heard in calling for new laws to prevent gun violence. The Brady Campaign has made expanded background checks one of the legislative priorities and on this anniversary, vows to keep fighting on behalf of those victims.
“The American public has made clear that we deserve better than this. 82 people were shot a year ago in that movie theater, and another 90 die from a bullet in our nation every day. All of this takes place while policies that can prevent many of these incidents sit on the desks of lawmakers in Congress,” said Gross. “The American people are making their voices heard, like never before, calling for action. Our job is to bring that voice to Congress, and to show our elected leaders that if they ignore the will and well being of the American people, we will hold them accountable. That is the least we can do to honor those victims of Aurora and the 30,000 lives that are lost every year.”
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to the dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries that we all seek.