Hoosiers to join others on Capitol Hill this week in calling for universal background checks for guns

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INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2015) – As lawmakers return to Washington this week, they’ll be greeted by a group of Hoosiers demanding new gun laws.

After a violent summer, organizers are calling Thursday’s rally on Capitol Hill a day of action.

Moms Demand Action is helping organize the event, a group that originated in Zionsville after the Sandy Hook Shooting.

“I think it has to be very difficult for an elected official to look a family in the eye and say the gun lobby means more than your loved one does,” Stephanie Mannon Grabow said, the Indiana chapter leader of Moms Demand Action.

The movement is asking lawmakers to pass legislation requiring universal background checks on every gun sale nationwide.

Alongside moms, victims and supporters from across the country, Andy Parker will speak at the rally in Washington. Parker is the father of former TV reporter Alison Parker who was shot-to-death on live TV.

“It’s senseless that her life and Adam’s life were taken by a crazy person with a gun,” Parker said in an interview shortly after the shooting.

DeAndra Yates will also be in attendance, an Indianapolis mother whose 13-year-old son was shot by a stray bullet at a birthday party.

Group members will also be posted throughout Indianapolis Thursday, passing out messages for Hoosiers to fill out, in hopes of sparking an online viral campaign.

Organizers hope the #WhateverItTakes trends on Twitter.

“We’re in this fight for the long haul,” Grabow said. “We won’t stop until we change the laws.”

But passing any type of comprehensive gun control legislation in Washington this fall could be a tough sell, no matter how personal the plea is.

“I think you’re going to find a number of us, Todd Rokita leading the way, that’s gonna say you’re not going to restrict any further our Second Amendment rights,” Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said. “Humans are the most vicious creatures on the face of the Earth, and some of them are sick in mind, and that is no reason to have the rest of us have less of a defense by taking away our guns.”

Event organizers said their movement isn’t about taking away guns, but ensuring gun safety amidst public gun violence.

“I’m a target shooter,” Grabow said. “My son is a great shot. I grew up in a house with guns. I love the Second Amendment, but I know we can do more to keep our kids safe from gun violence.”

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