RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Nearly 200 children under the age of twelve have been shot and killed since the Newtown massacre. Both pro-gun and pro-gun control groups find the number appalling but have different solutions for change.
The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America say, they want to start a conversation about gun control ahead of the upcoming General Assembly session.
"We have a public health crisis on our hands," said Gena Reeder, the Virginia Chapter leader for Moms Demand Action. "For the longest time we've been the silent majority in this issue but Sandy Hook was the alarm bell that went off that pierced our ears, pierced our hearts and we know we can never be silent again."
The American Academy for Pediatrics says firearm deaths have declined over the past 20 years but remains one of the top three killers of children. That's a statistic Reeder wants to change.
Reeder's group will push for, what she calls, "common sense legislation." That includes, universal background checks; stricter regulations for concealed carry permits; and implementing a "one handgun a month" law.
Philip Van Cleave is with the Virginia Citizens Defense League. He's appalled by the death toll but feels it should be handled differently.
"All the other stuff they're pushing for - like universal background checks and all that - wouldn't have changed a thing in Connecticut," said Van Cleave. "What would have changed it is if they had an armed teacher in the school who was able to defend them."
Moms Demand Action will hold a Sandy Hook memorial Saturday morning in Byrd Park at the Carillon at 9:30 a.m. The public is welcome.