'Moms Take The Hill' for gun control - New York News

'Moms Take The Hill' for gun control

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WASHINGTON -

A group of about 200 mothers from around the country gathered at the Capitol Wednesday. They came to lobby for gun control legislation.

The December massacre of elementary school students in Connecticut sparked the formation of "Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense."

But some in the crowd have personally lost relatives to gun violence. Marie Delus had a New York City nephew who was shot on two different occasions.

"[On] Nov. 11, 2008, Jean Paul was shot again in the streets of Cambria Heights, Queens," Delus told a crowded news conference. "This time he actually wasn't so lucky. He died. The bullet pierced his heart."

After watching television reports from Sandy Hook Elementary School, Shannon Watts founded the group.

"We must let our legislators know we support them when they bravely ignore pro-gun lobbyists and move forward with the laws that will keep our children and families safe," Watts declared.

The primary goals of the group: ban the sale of assault weapons, ban internet sales of firearms, and require background checks before sales could take place at gun shows.

Top legislative leaders in Congress urged the women to lobby hard.

"Without the outside mobilization, we cannot get the ... best possible legislation passed," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D--Calif.), the Democratic leader of the House.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has worked on gun control measures for years, told the assembled moms: "So much of this battle is going to depend on you. I don't think you can do this just through social media, either. I think you have to do it through individual calls at various members of Congress and members of the Senate."

The NRA and other gun rights groups have argued that banning weapons does not make society safer. They point to Chicago, which has strict gun laws and a rather high murder rate.

In recent years, gun rights supporters have won on these issues in Congress. The moms who want to restrict guns are hoping that what happened in Newtown, Conn. just three months ago will change the legislative outcome.

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