NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A survivor of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting who appeared in an ad calling for action on curbing gun violence met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the issue.
Southbury, Conn. native Stephen Barton was featured in the “Demand A Plan” ad sponsored by Mayor Bloomberg, who has been a vocal gun control advocate.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports
Barton spoke to reporters on the steps of City Hall following his meeting with the mayor, calling for the presidential candidates to offer their plans on the gun control issue during Wednesday night’s debate.
“More than anything, I’d like a specific question to be asked about gun violence as in, for example, ‘do you support having a background check for every single gun sold?’ And, ideally, I’d like to hear them say yes,” Barton told reporters including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.
Barton survived July’s mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., where a dozen people were killed and 58 were wounded by a lone gunman. Aurora is just a few miles from the University of Denver, where President Obama and Mitt Romney will face off on Wednesday.
“President Obama, Gov. Romney, they’re asking to be elected to the highest office in this country and this is one of the biggest problems facing our country, so it’s about time they talk about it specifically,” Barton added.
Barton, 22, is a graduate of Syracuse University and has delayed a Fulbright Scholarship to recover from his injuries and work in policy research and victim outreach for Bloomberg’s organization, ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns.’
“I have shotgun pellets in my neck, some in my face, some in my forearm, chest, shoulders and both hands,” Barton told Lamb. “I think most Americans don’t think their lives will be affected by gun violence and then things can change suddenly.”
Barton said he hopes his year-long stint at ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ will bring about meaningful change on the gun control issue.
“That was probably the worst moment of my life but with this work, I’m hoping to turn it into a really positive experience,” Barton said.
Mayor Bloomberg has said he is fed up that neither presidential candidate has offered a plan to curb gun violence. Barton added that he is disappointed the candidates have so far failed to discuss the issue.
Is gun control an important issue for you in the presidential race? What do you want to hear from the candidates? Offer your comments below…