AKRON– Two of the survivors of the Chardon High School shooting rallied Wednesday afternoon to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
It’s all part of the “No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence,” a national bus tour supported by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“No guns no more gun deaths. And for me as a parent of school children, Newtown was the tipping point for me,” said Nancy Dollard, of Uniontown.
“Although there’s a protection there for hunters who have them legally, there’s many instances where people get access to guns that they are not allowed to,” said Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.
“We believe in gun ownership in the city but we believe that some things just don’t need to be on the streets. And if you don’t believe me, talk to some of the victims of the crimes that occur out here,” added Mayor Brad Sellers with the City of Warrensville Heights.
Victims like Chardon High School shooting survivor, Nick Walczak, called for comprehensive background checks.
“I’m here because I feel like there needs to be something done with fully automatic weapons,” said Walczak.
Walczak was paralyzed back in February 2012 when a classmate opened fire and killed Danny Parmertor, 16; Demetrius Hewlin, 16; and Russell King, Jr.,17.
Another student was wounded and one grazed by a bullet.
“We need background checks. It needs to be solid. We can’t let anyone slip through the cracks,” said Nate Mueller, who was grazed by a bullet in the shooting rampage.
And while the survivors of the Chardon shooting and local mayors rallied for gun violence control, just down the street, local gun owners rallied for responsible gun ownership and their right to carry one.
“I carry my gun to events like this to promote advocacy and promote education,” said Brett Pucillo, with Northeast Ohio Carry.
Members of the Northeast Ohio Carry, along with others, silently showed their concern for the Second Amendment.
“They are doing the ground work for gun control, gun restriction, gun restraint at some point in the future,” said Amanda Suffecool of Ravenna.
They said they do not support the idea of universal background checks.
Meantime, Mueller said he is now helping to lobby for gun violence control with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
As for Walczak, he said he is attending classes at Lakeland Community College and studying Electric Engineering.