Gayle King speaks with families devastated by mass shootings


With Congress set to return in two weeks house speaker Nancy Pelosi is ratcheting up pressure on lawmakers to take action on gun violence the country's most powerful Democrats said this week she would not take no for an answer after two mass shootings this past month but any push for reform faces opposition in the Republican led Senate as Congress struggles to address the issue CBS this morning's Gayle king sat down with a group of people who live with the repercussions of bash shootings everyday Stephanie Melendez's father was killed in el Paso Texas earlier this month he was shopping with his wife and granddaughter nine years old we push them both to safety the Reverend Sharon richer lost her mother and two cousins in the Charleston church massacre Richard Martinez is only child Chris was killed during a rampage in Isla Vista California and Nova Marquez greens little six year old daughter on a grace was killed in the sandy hook massacre in two thousand twelve you go through periods of time when you do feel you know the worst thing that's ever happened to me it's already happened to me by the same time I'm never going to work I don't want to get over it you do not I don't want to get over I Chris was our only child getting over it would seem to me to be there the trail of my son's memory and I don't want to get over it and how do you go on if you don't get over it I feel like I have an obligation as a parent to my son finish the work that I do to try to stop gun violence you said Sharon before we get started now all the shootings are ranked in categories what do you mean so you have the hate crime category you have the church category you have the school category bottom line is they had as a category people say it's about second amendment rights the right to bear arms I have a right to see my daughter enter eighth grade this fall and I don't get to do that and I am grossly as a mental health professional offended by the words of our president and members of Congress linking mental illness to mass shootings you don't see it as a mental health issue the vast majority of people who are mentally ill are not violent by a long shot most of the gun violence that we see on a daily basis is related more to a domestic violence and misogyny one thing that isn't talked about a lot is suicide families who've lost a loved one the suicide suffer the same grief that we do have any of you ever thought about suicide after this yes yes I would say in the early days it was very dark and I hope by me saying as others can be encouraged by hearing it and ask for help they need it was like I died Chris was everything to me it was a center of my life I think the reason why suicide doesn't really concern Chris would want that you know I'm living from I'm all that's left of my son's memory I'm keeping him alive by being alive and to be with her you know that's that's really what it is I want to let her know yeah and I would if I could I'd like to say I'm so sorry hello I'm so sorry you didn't get what you deserve to but I'll stay here for the work that needs to be done but I just want to be with her I so feel that now but when you say I just want to be with her I just wanted I just want to be with her I have this that's where you have your own brown skin curly haired singing Donner and I woke up one morning and I didn't have her we have to think about the people who are the shooters and all of these cases they were young white men in their twenties we don't like to talk about race in a lot of these mass shooting situations but I think it's an important conversation to have sandy hook was in a race was in a race it wasn't but it it permeates everything because I'll tell you an interesting conversation my husband said to me shortly after the shooting and he goes you know I've spent my whole life as a black man in America trying to convey that I'm a safe person especially in white environments I look people in the high I make sure not to take up too much space because I'm a six foot six inch three hundred pound black man yet a white person boy killed my daughter and I'm not allowed to look at him or look at others in that way right I'm supposed to give a grace I have never been given as a black man in America however I will I wish people would give that to us and I sat in the passenger seat and I just cried with him Emmett till's mother allowed people to see what had been done to her son's body and that change the game in the civil rights movement where are you all in people seeing the damage that is caused when your child your father your loved one is shot to see using vision is seen they don't people are visual learners people need to see the devastation I think it's a fair question I think it's an important one to discuss I think many times was on a show many many many would you have wanted us to see that absolutely not if this beautiful six year old baby her living picture her voice her affect everything about her alive didn't change you photo dead wouldn't change you either I say of gun violence in America does not make your heart her makes your soul crawl high you can't deal with that then you can't feel

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