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Updated Apr 11, 2013 - 12:12 pm

Mother of Aurora victim urges Congress to address gun control

PHOENIX, Ariz.-- A mother of one of the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting is pushing Congress to act now and pass gun control bills.

Sandy Phillips' daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was killed in the theater shooting last summer, just days after she narrowly escaped a Toronto mall shooting.

Phillips said it was time to cool off the political infighting.

"It has become a political issue because there are people pushing that agenda," she said. "This is a public safety issue. I do not want to believe this country is as divided as people pretend it is. We're not far left or far right. It's not just red states, blue states or even purple states. We're people."

Phillips has called for universal background checks on all gun sales along with a ban on assault rifles and extended ammunition magazines.

Her husband, Lonnie, said that they are seeking common sense gun legislation.

"That's all we're asking for," he explained. "Something needs to come out of Aurora, Columbine, Newtown, Virginia Tech and Tucson. People need to start standing up."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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