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Utahns remember lives lost in Sandy Hook mass shooting on 10-year anniversary

Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 14, 2022

SANDY, Utah — Community members came together Wednesday night at the Community of Grace Presbyterian Church to remember the 20 children and six adults who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th, 2012.

“Children go to school every day afraid that they might be the next victims," said Terri Gilfillan, Board Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. “Unfortunately, it's become a public health crisis. In our country, it is now the number-one killer of children.”

The Gun Violence Prevention Center performed a symbolic gun disabling before the vigil.

“You would think after an incident like that, that we would take measures to protect lives," said Gilfillan. "But our lawmakers have literally done nothing in those ten years.”

Since Sandy Hook, gun restriction efforts have gained power, something local gun rights activists, like the chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council Clark Aposhian believes is not the answer.

“What a tragedy that didn't necessarily have to happen," he said. "Here in Utah, our staff, our faculty and visitors 21 and over, may carry a firearm to defend themselves. And what we don't see are these active shooters in places that allow firearms.”

Schools need to be more secure, and more teachers need to be armed, said Aposhian.

“Just like we carry a fire extinguisher, just in case we have to use it, we carry a firearm, just in case we have to defend ourselves because there's always going to be an evil person out there," he said.

However, Gilfillan argues that we don’t need to solve this problem with more weapons.

“I hope that from this we can come together and see the light and know that there are solutions, and there are peaceful solutions," she said.