Gun Control Debate Heats Up At Columbus March


UPDATED: Sunday February 24, 2013 9:07 AM

There were 16 mass shootings in the United States last year.

One of the biggest that grabbed the headlines was the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut last December.

26 students and faculty were killed at that elementary school that day.

Incidents like those have fueled a lot of compassion, and a lot of questions about gun rights and gun control.

More than 200 people gathered on the steps of City Hall Saturday, pushing for new gun laws.

"So many people across the country say it's time.  We don't have to ban guns, but not every citizen should be armed," said organizer Shannon Watts.

Watts leads the 80-thousand plus member group called 'Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America'.  It was started as a Facebook page right after the Sandy Hook shooting.

"Too many times we talk about statistics or facts or we argue about the Constitution, but when you hear stories from people who've been affected by gun violence, it's so powerful," Watts said.

17-year-old Nate Mueller is one of those people affected.  "I was grazed in the ear by a bullet."

He survived the Chardon High school shooting last year, but three of his close friends were killed.

Now he is pushing for tougher gun laws.

"Most people wake up and they go, I wish this was different, I wish that was different.  I have the chance to make it different," Mueller said.

Columbus mom Jodi Sandoval lost her son Noah last July.   "I wanted to put a human face on a senseless death."

She said Noah's friend found a loaded gun and accidentally shot him.

The teenager who pulled the trigger was charged with reckless homicide.  Sandoval thinks that is wrong.

"Leave firearm responsibility in the hands of adults.  That's what I would like to see happen here.  About half the states have laws like this.  It's time for Ohio to have one too," Sandoval said.

A number of gun rights supporters also demonstrated nearby.

Sandoval said what is important is preserving the memory of her son and preventing other tragedies.

Watts said she plans to have a rally in a different city every week, including a massive march on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in mid-March.

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