Creator of Sandy Hook group talks about Las Vegas mass shooting

October 03, 2017 06:10 PM

SCHENECTADY - Rob Cox is from Newtown.

"I thought that after 20 children were gunned down in their classrooms at close range by an AR-15 with 400 rounds, you'd have thought that that was a moment that would really truly change people's views about the access to weapons like that," he said, as he sat down for an interview before his public talk at Union College in Schenectady.

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The global editor of Reuters Breakingviews is no longer with the group Sandy Hook Promise; he has left it in the hands of the families.

Years ago, after the shooting in Newtown in 2012, they formed the group to tackle problems including gun violence and school security.  

"What we found, of course, is that this is a very treacherous path.  And a lot of the folks, as the dust settles, as people grieve and mourn and say goodbye to their loved ones in Las Vegas, they're going to find equally difficult terrain, particularly given the lack of civil discourse that seems to have taken hold of our country in recent years."

More than 500 people were injured in Las Vegas. Fifty-nine died, including 35-year-old Sandy Casey, a Bennington County native, who was a special education teacher in California.  

"We're now discussing a similar problem, but the fact that we have a whole other community that's now going to have to take up this problem, take up this question, and 59 families that are going to be asking how this happened, I think the debate is going to move forward."

Cox, who is a gun owner, says Las Vegas could make some people reconsider their views.

"There's one performer who said that they all on their tour bus kept firearms and they thought about going to get them.  And they realized that wouldn't have been any use.  In fact, it would have created more mayhem, more chaos, very likely would have gotten them shot by one of the heroic police officers on the ground," said Cox.  "I think this is a moment when a whole other community is going to have to reassess its position on all manner of things, including mental health and access to guns."


Kumi Tucker

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