The legislature, who lost his son while filming at the Aurora Theater, is discussing mourning and gun laws after the rampage in Boulder
Colorado State representative Tom Sullivan recalls sitting in a room waiting for news. His 27-year-old son, Alex Sullivan, was attending a midnight screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 when a gunman opened fire in the theater.
“We were sitting in the same room with the exact families, you know, in different sections, getting briefings and trying to hold it together,” Sullivan told Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning.
Twelve hours later he would receive news that his son was dead along with eleven others. Almost a decade later, another group of families waited in a similar room after 10 people were killed Monday in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. They too would receive the same heartbreaking news.
WATCH: Boulder, Colorado, Mayor Sam Weaver discusses gun reform and the city’s response to Monday’s mass shootings that killed 10 people. pic.twitter.com/1lf0kO8OLy
– CBS this morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 24, 2021
Sullivan knows all too well the grief these families feel. From personal experience, Sullivan said that during those dark moments, the families of those killed shopping at King Soopers should rely on their loved ones and use them as support.
“Well, one of the things I try to remember to let you know is that right now you need the people you trust, the people you love, who need to be around you you have to reach, “he said. “There are well-meaning people, but when the cameras go off and the lights are down again, it will be you and them again.”
The memories of Alex remain close to Sullivan despite the years gone by. He said the families of the victims of Monday’s shooting should try to preserve the voices of their loved ones and use them to help them heal.
“I would just tell these people to hold on to the voice. If you have any text messages, you have all the phone messages they left. That’s the first thing you lose. It’s difficult.” don’t try to hear him anymore, “he said.
Sullivan turned his pain into an advocacy and has been a Colorado State Representative since 2016. He’s often called for stricter gun regulations on the floor of the house and often wore Alex’s jacket.
“Well, I have his jacket that I wear every day when I go to the state capitol on the really tough days. I wear it, you know, with me on the floor. You know, I can see his eyes, I can see that smile, “he said.
The mass shooting in Boulder has brought gun regulations back into focus. The Senate Judiciary Committee held one on Tuesdayin the country, the differences between Republicans and Democrats have been fully brought to bear. Senator Ted Cruz, who vocalized against gun control proposals, called the hearing “ridiculous drama” and said they were discussing “a number of laws that would do nothing to stop these killings”.
Sullivan told King that these laws, which Cruz opposes, could mean the difference between life and death for Americans.
“All of these things put together, all of these kinds of things, what they do is that they save lives. And that’s what I do from the day my son was murdered to the day I was I’m not here anymore, in business. I’m doing everything to save lives, “Sullivan told Tony Dokoupil, co-host of CBS This Morning. “And there is no perfect answer. There is none, there is no pill here that will stop this. There is no law that will stop this. But each one will help save lives.”
“All of these things put together, all of these kinds of things they do, is that they save lives – and that’s what I do from the day my son was murdered to the day I was I’m not here anymore, in business. I’m doing everything to save lives, “Sullivan told Tony Dokoupil, co-host of CBS This Morning. “There is no perfect answer. There is no pill that can stop this. There is no law that can stop this. But either one will help save lives.”