Family of Murdered S.A. Sportscaster Say They Won't Stop Gun Law Activism

Sandy Phillips, whose daughter, San Antonio sportscaster Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was murdered in the suburban Denver movie theater shooting in 2012, attended Saturday's March for our Lives in San Antonio, and says she will step up her fight against gun violence, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"We have always told politicians that they need to be on the right side of history, and they have not been listening," she told 1200 WOAI's Morgan Montalvo. "They have chosen not to, and they are going to be voted out of office."

Jessica, who had recently moved from San Antonio to Denver to be part of the broadcast team for the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL was killed in July 2012 when a man threw tear gas into a theater showing the Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises.'  She was among 12 people who were killed and more than 70 people were hurt.  The gunman is serving a life prison term.

Sandy and husband Lonnie Phillips now head 'Survivors Empowered,' a group of relatives of people who have been killed or wounded in mass shootings. 

She says she joined with the students who protested on Saturday, to try to pry the hands of politicians away from the National Rifle Association and NRA money, and to see that gun control laws are necessary.

Lonnie Phillips, Jessica's stepfather, says one proposal is to ban the AR-15, which is one of the weapons that was used to kill Jessica, and was also used in the Sutherland Springs shooting last fall, and in the Florida high school shooting that prompted Saturday's march.

"To my way of thinking, the AR-15 is a more powerful weapon than a machine gun," he said of the fully automatic weapon which has been illegal for civilian ownership since the 1950s. "It is more affordable, it is easy to shoot, easier to learn how to shoot, and is more effective in close quarters combat.  That's why we need to get rid of it."

The couple says it is time to keep up the momentum on lawmakers to move to take serious action on guns. They say following the shooting that claimed the life of their daughter, as well as after Sandy Hook and other mass shootings like the one at the Orlando night club, the NRA and other groups have intervened to block meaningful gun legislation, and that has to stop.

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