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Sister Of Newtown Shooting Victim Speaks In Columbus
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The â€œNo More Namesâ€ bus tour stopped at the Dodge Community Center on the cityâ€™s south side. The group wants state and federal lawmakers to mandate background checks for all gun purchases.
Carlee Sotoâ€™s sister, Victoria Soto, died in the Newtown school shooting. She was a teacher.
Until last year, Soto admitted she gave little thought to gun violence.
â€œOnce the Aurora shooting happened I turned off the TV, and I didnâ€™t want to hear anything more about it. I was scared and heartbroken that somebody can do something like that,” Soto said. “Little did I know a few months down the line itâ€™s my reality now. Itâ€™s my life.â€
“I wish that they would, instead of standing with their guns and not listening, to keep an open mind to what we’re saying.” – Carlee Soto, sister of Newtown shooting victim
Two dozen or so demonstrators protested the event. Kelly Wynn, of Cleveland, said universal background checks are not a solution.
â€œMost of the ones that do create the crimes, theyâ€™ve obtained the guns illegally. So itâ€™s about addressing psychological issues, mental issues, things like that. Law-abiding citizens are not the problem.â€
“It’s about addressing the real problem which I don’t believe is the guns. It’s the people themselves. The guns are just a tool.” – Kelly Wynn, Cleveland protester
And Pataskalaâ€™s Chuck LaRosa would rather see “gun-free zone” signs traded for armed teachers and security guards.
â€œWhen it comes to the children, I mean, they need to be protected. And a sign doesnâ€™t protect anybody,” he said. “A sign actually makes them more vulnerable because a law-abiding citizen canâ€™t get in there and do the job that needs to be done.â€
But Soto balked at that suggestion.
â€œMy sister would never have thought to pick up a gun and hold it and try killing someone instead of getting in front of her kids and shielding them and doing whatever it took to save those kids,” Soto said. “I donâ€™t think that having a gun in the school would have done anything.â€
Mayor Michael Coleman noted the number of fatal shootings in Columbus has increased 9 percent in the past two years.