Family members of Virginia Tech, Newtown victims to rally in Bla - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Family members of Virginia Tech, Newtown victims to rally in Blacksburg Friday

Posted: Updated:

The national gun debate is coming to Southwest Virginia.  Several family members of Virginia Tech and Newtown shooting victims will spend all day Friday in Blacksburg making their push for universal background checks.

It's part of the "No More Names National Drive to Reduce Violence" bus tour, which is visiting 25 states in 100 days.  The tour is being sponsored by a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is chaired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

At each stop they organize a rally, then read the names of victims of gun violence for 12 hours.  The event in Blacksburg will take place at Marcia Park (200 Clay St. SW) starting at 9:00am.

Family members of Virginia Tech and Newtown victims involved with the tour, like Uma Loganathan, say they're doing it to show their support for universal background checks.  Loganathan's father G.V. was killed during the April 16th shootings at Virginia Tech.  She says she strongly supports responsible gun owners, but believes background checks need to be expanded to prevent criminals or people with mental problems from  being able to purchase guns.

The Virginia Tech shooter passed two background checks because at the time the state did not submit his mentally ill status to the database.

"Nobody should have to go through what I'm going through," said Loganathan.  "I watch my mom and my sister everyday struggle because we have a missing hole in our lives.  And we've had to shape our lives around this missing hole because somebody got their hands on a gun who shouldn't have been able to get their hands on a gun in the first place."

Currently, only guns sold by federally licensed dealers are subject to background checks.  Supporters of universal checks say private sales at gun shows, on the internet, and at flea markets need to have the same requirements.

"I'm not saying people have to agree with me," said Loganathan.  "I'm just hoping that they will engage in the discussion and think about the topic and discuss the topic.  I think just by doing that, we can come up with a better solution than what we have right now.  Because the system that we have right now is not working."

Gun rights advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association have said they do not support universal background checks. They point out that more than 1 million applications for gun permits or transfers have been denied under the current background check system.

On its website, the NRA argues that criminals won't take legal routes to get their hands on guns, so expanded checks won't have an impact.  The group also suggests that universal checks could be a stepping stone for a national gun registry down the road.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Kraft Foods recalls over 7,500 cases of Kraft American Singles

    Kraft Foods recalls over 7,500 cases of Kraft American Singles

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:43 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:43:53 GMT
    (WSLS)-- Kraft Foods announces a voluntary recall of more than 7,500 cases of craft singles cheese slices.The company says the recall is a precaution after a supplier failed to store the cheese in accordance with Kraft temperature standards.No complaints or illnesses have been reported. If you have one of the affected packages, return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.Here are the affected items:Product Name:12 oz Kraft American Singles (16 slices)Best When Used by Date...
    (WSLS)-- Kraft Foods announces a voluntary recall of more than 7,500 cases of craft singles cheese slices.The company says the recall is a precaution after a supplier failed to store the cheese in accordance with Kraft temperature standards.No complaints or illnesses have been reported. If you have one of the affected packages, return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.Here are the affected items:Product Name:12 oz Kraft American Singles (16 slices)Best When Used by Date...
  • Vigil held for 2-year-old girl who died after being left in hot van

    Vigil held for 2-year-old girl who died after being left in hot van

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:30:57 GMT
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
  • Keithville boy born without brain dies at 12

    Keithville boy born without brain dies at 12

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:27:12 GMT
    Baby Trevor with his momBaby Trevor with his mom
    An ArkLaTex child born without a brain and defied all odds passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday. 
    An ArkLaTex child born without a brain and defied all odds passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday. 
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.