Another school shooting sparks security debate

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Friday’s Colorado school shooting brings up horrific memories of what we saw nearly one year ago in Connecticut. Last year, on December 14th, 20 children including one from Utah, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah)- Friday’s Colorado school shooting brings up horrific memories of what we saw nearly one year ago in Connecticut. Last year, on December 14th, 20 children including one from Utah, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Over the last year, many would argue not much has changed as far as increased school security. Immediately following Newtown, the President and concerned citizens called for more gun legislation and more school security. A year later, we are exactly where we started: another school shooting and many unanswered questions.

As a nation, we were glued to our television screens watching unimaginable images as Sandy Hook Elementary School became the scene of the nation’s latest mass shooting. One of the victims, was a small girl originally from Ogden, Utah, Emilie Parker.

“Emilie loved mornings,” said Sandy Hook parent Emilie Parker.

To honor her daughter, Emilie’s mom, dad and two sisters made a YouTube video titled, “Evil Did Not Win.” But it took time for Emilie’s family to come to that conclusion.

“I had to see how she was hurt. That pain is indescribable,” said Parker.

The same pain, SecuringOurSchools.org Founder Tom Panuzio doesn’t want any other parents to feel. Senate Bill 649, written shortly after Sandy Hook, included more gun legislation.

“We have to have stricter guns laws, background checks, and other types of checks,” said SecuringOurSchools.org Founder Tom Panuzio.

But the bill didn’t pass.

“This is about Congress and especially Mike Lee and the Republican Party not being hostage to the funds of the NRA,” said Panuzio.

ABC 4 Utah reached out to Senator Mike Lee for his response, but we have yet to hear back from him. Panuzio says he’s not anti-gun and Congress needs more laws focused on mental health issues as well.

“It has to be a bill that included money for mental health, examination of mental health standards. And if we need to take a step back and make sure people are trained on certain weapons before they go ahead and get one just like someone is trained on a truck before they can drive it on I-15,” said Panuzio.

But none of that has happened in the year since Sandy Hook. But healing has happened for the Parker Family.

“Evil didn't win that day. We will carry on that love like she had,” said Parker.

Check out SecuringOurSchools.org or watch Emilie Parker’s full tribute video “Evil Did Not Win.”

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