Aurora victims honored, gun groups stage protest
Steve Barton a survivor of the Aurora theater shooting speaks at a remembrance event marking the one-year anniversary of the theater shooting, at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 19, 2013. Saturday, July 20 is the anniversary of the Aurora theater shootings. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Survivors of mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut gathered with dozens of supporters Friday in a suburban Denver park to honor those killed in the massacre at an Aurora movie theater almost a year to the day after the attack.
Vigil participants read a list of names of those killed in recent gun violence around the nation and talked about the pain of losing loved ones as they called for strict federal gun control laws.
"Why wait any longer?" asked Carlee Soto, whose sister was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage in Newtown, Conn. "The time for change is now."
Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex Sullivan was killed on his 27th birthday in the Aurora theater shooting, speaks at a remembrance rally for the anniversary of the shooting at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 19, 2013. Saturday, July 20, is the anniversary of the Aurora theater shootings. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which promotes tough gun laws and was founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, helped sponsor the vigil.
The scene was somber, even as about 100 gun rights activists held a protest nearby to oppose new firearms restrictions as infringements on Second Amendment rights. Many wore orange National Rifle Association hats and T-shirts reading, "I will not comply."
"To the families and victims of the tragedy, we offer our condolences and prayers," said Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. "To Mayor Bloomberg and the group that would politicize this, we offer our opposition."
People hold signs as they gather for a remembrance rally for the anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Colo., Friday, July 19, 2013. Saturday, July 20 is the anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting where 12 people were killed and 70 injured. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Brown helped organize the rally and carried a .45-caliber pistol to the park.