With the first presidential debate set to take place less than 10 miles away from the site of the mass shooting that occurred in Aurora, Col., last July, a victim of the shooting is calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to use the forum to talk about gun control.
In an ad produced by the bipartisan group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Stephen Barton explains that he was shot in the face and the neck on July 20, when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater. The shooting left 12 people dead and 58 injured, including Barton.
"But I was lucky," Barton says in the ad, sitting in an empty movie theater. "In the next 4 years, 48,000 Americans won't be so lucky... because they'll be murdered with guns in the next president's term. Enough to fill over 200 theaters."
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led in part by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has pressed the presidential candidates to address gun violence, and some Democratic lawmakers have called for more stringent gun control laws. Neither Mr. Obama nor Romney, however, avoided any vigorous discussion of the issue. The president called for a "common sense" approach to gun control.
Mr. Obama and Romney will meet for the first presidential debate at the University of Denver this Wednesday, less than 10 miles from the Aurora theater where the shooting occurred, where they will discuss domestic policy.