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'We Have To Work Together': Coloradans Gather To Talk Guns, Mental Health

By Michael Abeyta

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) - On Sunday morning in Fellowship Hall at St. Andrews United Methodist Church a crowd gathered, but not for worship.

(credit: CBS)

This crowd was there to talk about mental health and gun control.

"There are some proposals that we can pass and should to reduce the risk of violence, to increase the supply of mental health care to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands," Mental Health Colorado spokesman Andrew Romanoff said.

"I want to stop the wrong people from getting weapons, but what we don't want to do is to create a vehicle that whenever something happens and someone owns a gun we invite law enforcement to go into their house and take all their guns," 18th Judicial District District Attorney George Braucher said.

The church invited four experts to speak on the topics. They were asked questions and the crowd listened to their responses.

Jane Dougherty's sister was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. She supports any law that will help prevent others from going through what she went through, including some high powered rifles.

"I don't believe anyone needs an AR-15 which has become the mass shooter's firing arm," she said.

Brauchler, who supports the right to bear arms, responded by saying "to simply say we're going to start curtailing people's rights and that somehow is going to lead to the saving of one life and that makes it so. I don't agree with that."

If you expected these complicated issues to be solved in Highlands Ranch Sunday, you will be disappointed.

They were not, but what did happen was was maybe the next best thing; a peaceful sharing of facts and opinions and community involvement.

In a time where we are divided as a nation on this, and many issues, maybe that's what is needed -- fellowship.

(credit: CBS)

"We have to find a way where we can work together as a community and find a way where everyone, even though we may not agree to the same thing, we can find an acceptable solution," Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.

If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call Colorado Crisis Services' toll-free number 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional."

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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