Aug 7, 2012 6:57 PM

RAW: Jan. 8 shooting survivors speak outside courthouse

TUCSON - After representatives for the prosecuttion and Rep. Ron Barber spoke, several victims gave brief statements regarding the plea hearing for Jared Loughner, the accused January 8 shooter.

Jim Tucker spoke briefly, followed by Suzi Hileman, who thanked prosecutors, the Justice Department, the FBI, the Pima County Attorney's Office, the first responders, and the doctors at UMC for saving her life.

"Today's events make me very proud to be an American," she continued. "This is the system doing its best. it's not a perfect solution. the perfect solution is one we can't have. what we want is not available to us. this is the best that can be expected. Can't bring Christina back, but that shouldn't stop people from mentoring and particcpating and encouraing young people to get inolved, stay involved, and to recognize this is a wonderful place we live. This is a wonderful community."

"Since that time, it's been an 18-month journey by all of us who were affcted by that day," said the next survivor to speak, former Giffods staffer Pam Simon. "And it's not only those that were wounded and the family of those that were killed, it's the greater community. I've had the experience throughout this year and a half of seeing the hurt, and the pain, and the anguish that happened to the entire community. And I can only hope that as today's decision brings a resolution to me personally, that it will also bring some closure for all of those who are hurting in our community, and all of those who care so very much about Congresswoman Giffords."

Simon went on to say that today, the nation should began a "common-sense discussion on who should bear arms."

"We can all agree that the seriously mentally-ill, and those with criminal records, should not be holding a gun."

She announced that a group will be at tonight's City Council meeting to present a resolution to Councilmember Karen Ulich.


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