BOSTON (CBS) — A rally for stricter gun laws, that was planned before the school shooting in Florida, took place at Beacon Hill Thursday. Many parents of kids who lost their lives in school shootings were in the crowd.
Greg Gibson, a father who lost his 18-year-old son, Galen, after he was killed by a fellow student at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington in 1992, was among the supporters of “extreme risk protection” legislation.
The legislation would allow guns to be temporarily taken from people considered at high risk to hurt themselves or others.
After Wednesday’s Florida massacre, Gibson said too many people are re-living the horror.
“It feels more and more are people are living through it again and again. We’ve been where they are and we know what they’re going to have to go through,” said Gibson,
“This is not a gun grab. It’s just an effort to provide a tool to separate someone in crisis from something they can do a lot of harm with.”
Lynette Alameddine held a photo of her 20-year-old son, Ross, one of 32 people killed when a student opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007.
She wonders if yesterday’s school shooting could have been prevented.
“The mental health, I’m sure there were signs of it, like Virginia Tech, there were signs for the shooter to do this mayhem,” said Alameddine.
While they push for this bill at the statehouse, there were also calls for tougher national gun laws, including from Attorney General Maura Healey, who says the ripple effects from Florida are profound.
“It can’t be left to school officials and teachers to stop destruction and mass carnage. It can’t be left to little kids in our country, but right now that’s where we’ve left it.”
Gun rights advocates say the extreme risk legislation does not do enough to address what happens after a gun is taken away, such as giving them the mental health services they need.