(Mediaitie) -- As parents of the children tragically slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School prepared to lobby Congress for gun violence prevention measures on Monday, CBS News’ 60 Minutes aired a powerful interview with seven of the families Sunday night, all members of the group Sandy Hook Promise. Many of the parents spoke wrenchingly of the moments leading up to the discovery of their children’s fates, and discussed what they would like to see happen on Capitol Hill. While background checks seem to have the most public support, it was magazine sizes that many of the Newtown parents saw as most important.
The parents of Sandy Hook children Dylan Hockley, Ana Marquez-Greene, Benjamin Wheeler, Daniel Barden, and Jesse Lewis, as well as the mother of slain teacher Lauren Rousseau and the husband of school psychologist Mary Sherlach, began by introducing interviewer Scott Pelley to their lost loved ones. Jimmy Greene told Pelley that it was an honor to have known his six year-old, Ana, and that he cries every day. Ben Wheeler’s mom, Francine, revealed that her other son, Nate, “was hiding when he heard Ben and his classmates and educators get shot.”
The group spoke about their experience lobbying the Connecticut legislature, with, perhaps, some messages for the lawmakers they’ll see today. Asked why they’d handed legislators photos of the children, Nicole Hockley responded, “They need to not just look us in the eyes, but look at our children, and the lost ones and… and see those faces, see what’s gone, and remember this isn’t just about political parties, this isn’t just about careers; this is about people, and this is about making change to save people. And it’s important to remember the people you are doing this for.”
Later in the interview, Mark Barden told Pelley that his message to Congress is that “They have to be our government and vote up or down. They have to vote.”
Asked what changes they thought were most important, Mark Barden said “The universal background check is very important,” while Bill Sherlach pointed to magazine sizes. “You can have a million bullets,” he said, “but if you have to put them in one at a time, the ability to do any kind of real damage is significantly reduced.”
Sherlach countered the argument that reloading only takes a few seconds by revealing that, at one point during the shooting, 11 children were able to escape when the shooter was reloading. “It’s just a simple arithmetic,” he added. “If you have to change magazines 15 times instead of five times, you have three times as many incidents as where something could jam, something could be bobbled. You just increase the time for intervention. You increase the timeframe where kids can get out. And there’s 11 kids out there today that… that are still running around on the playground pretty much now at lunchtime.”
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