Valley honors Sandy Hook victims on shooting anniversary


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 3:32 PM

PHOENIX -- Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and people gathered in Phoenix to commemorate those who died.

“We don't want people to forget," said Jill McMahon, who represents the "No More Silence, End Gun Violence" campaign. "Christmas is around the corner; 2014 is around the corner. Don't forget."

On Dec. 14 last year, Adam Lanza walked into the Newtown, Conn., school with a high-powered rifle and opened fire. He killed 20 kids and six adults before turning the gun on himself.

Among the people at this morning's memorial event in Phoenix was Daniel Hernandez, a survivor of gun violence.

Hernandez is credited with saving the life of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after she was shot in the head in a 2011 rampage in Tucson.

“One of these things that we've learned is the silence breeds action," Hernandez said. "We need to, instead of staying silent, make sure we're making noise in honor of the people not just from Sandy Hook, not just from Tucson, but every person who has been killed because of gun violence."

In the wake of the shooting, Congress debated new gun control legislation. Legislators have discussed a ban on certain military-style weapons, a limit on magazine capacity, and expanded background checks.

President Barack Obama, who promised to make gun control a "central issue" during his second term, lit a candle today for those who were gunned down in Newtown. However, a year after the shooting, there are no new gun laws in place and gun sales are up.

But McMahon said gun ownership alone is not to blame for recent mass killings.

"It's a gun safety issue and it's a mental health issue for sure,” she said.