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Tucsonans march to honor gun violence victims; have message for government

Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-18 23:18:40-05

Wednesday, December 14 marked the four year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 20 children and six faculty members dead. However, four years later -- a group of Tucsonans rallied together, marching to honor their lives while hoping to deliver a powerful message to the government: more gun control.

"We can't just sit idly by anymore," Sherrie Rutman said. "We need to do something to show our support and to remember what's happened in the past so that it never happens again."

One of the people in attendance: Patricia Maisch. She survived the mass shooting here in Tucson back in 2011 and helped subdue the shooter.

"It's a national epidemic," she said. "If 33,000 people a year died of Zika, we'd be spraying the whole country with bug spray. But these are bullets, and not bugs. It's a shame that we can't consider this a public health crisis, because it is."

In her eyes, it's the government's responsibility to help alleviate what she believes is an epidemic. She doesn't want to get rid of the Second Amendment or ban guns -- she just wants to make sure they don't get in the wrong hands. And in her opinion, the best way to do that comes with background checks.

"It wouldn't stop all shootings," she said. "But if you can't pass a background check, then you shouldn't have a gun. And background checks are usually five minutes, they can take up to three days. If they haven't passed in three days, then you get your gun. But if you need a gun in five minutes, then you probably shouldn't have a gun."

The members of the group signed letters addressed to members of Congress, pleading for more control.

"We need our legislators and lawmakers to be human and look at these signs," march spokesperson Gordy Rutman said.