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Gun Fight Plays out in Connecticut

A week after deadly shooting at Navy Yard, gun control advocates and shooting victim families meet to discuss struggle to enact tougher gun laws.
(NECN) Gun control advocates and shooting victim families gathered Monday to discuss ways to combat the use of illegal firearms.

The meeting comes on the heels of last week's shooting at Washington's Navy Yard.

In the wake of the shooting, the call went up, again, for Congress to pass tougher gun laws.

But, gun control advocates who gathered in Bridgeport, Connecticut agree it will not happen quickly.

Ron Pinciaro has been fighting the battle for 12 years as head of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

He says the effort is unfolding much the way the debate over same sex marriage evolved.

"You couldn't go into congress and pass same sex marriage now but you can see it changing as more and more states come on board and it becomes inevitable and i think the same thing will happen here," said Pinciaro.

That takes a long term commitment from those fighting the battle.

Neil Heslin's son, Jesse Lewis, was killed by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December.

"I'm doing okay. It's going day by day. I have a lot of bad days and I have a lot of okay days," Heslin said.

Carrying on the gun control battle forces Heslin to recall the tragedy at sandy hook but he looks at it as a duty.

"I feel it's something I owe Jesse at this point."

He is not the only parent of a shooting victim on this mission.

Jackie Pettway's son was shot and killed on a Bridgeport street earlier this month.

The latest in the state to fall to gun violence did so trying to save others.

"When the gunman chose to fire out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon when children were getting off a school bus and he did not give it a second thought to run and to dive and push those children out of the way," Pettway said.

Heartbreaking stories like that seem to fall on a lot of deaf ears in Washington where democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut says the debate has taken a turn.

"We have a new found breed of gun control Darwinists in Washington who think that the best thing to do is to throw a whole mess of guns into the hands of the bad guys and the good guys and just hope that the good guys shoot the bad guys," Murphy said.

A spokesman from the Coalition Of Connecticut Sportsmen, the pro-gun rights lobby in the state, says the focus should not on taking rights away from people but, rather, on keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals.
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