Sandy Hook cyclists ride for gun reform

BALTIMORE - Dozens of people from Sandy Hook, Conn., rode their bikes through Baltimore, as part of their 300-mile ride to Washington D.C.

Twenty-six students and teachers died inside Sandy Hook Elementary School back in Dec. 2012, along with the gunman and his mother.

Wearing the green and white colors of the elementary school, the riders pulled in to City Hall in Baltimore on Monday evening.

“Enough is enough,” said Monte Frank, one of the organizers of the event.  “Thirty-thousand deaths a year, 44 school shootings since Newtown.  It's just not acceptable for a civilized nation.”

The ride started in Sandy Hook. Monday’s leg brought them from a town near Philadelphia. They say it was much like their fight to pass tougher gun control laws.

“We had a little bit of a rough day today; the winds were in our face and we had a number of flats,” Frank said.

The answer, they say -- stronger gun control laws at the federal level.

Omar Samaha rode with the group.  His sister was killed in the shooting at Virginia Tech back in 2007.

“With our friends, with all the support of our family and our communities around the country, we're going to win,” he said.

The arrived in Baltimore on the same day the New Yorker magazine published an interview with the father of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza, in which he said he wished his son had never been born.  He also pointed to potential mental health problems.

“We have to work in collaboration to strengthen those laws and to reduce access for people that have violent histories, that have criminal histories, and that have significant mental health issues,” said Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.  “I don't think you can exclude the mental health conversation from the gun control conversation.”

Monte Frank says it's a mistake to focus on Adam Lanza .

“Let's stop glorifying it; let's talk about what needs to happen in order to prevent future tragedies,” he said.

They're calling for mandatory background checks, and stricter penalties for gun trafficking.  Similar bills failed last year in the US Senate, where they fell five votes short of the total needed to avoid a filibuster.

“We believe that over time we will be able to turn five senators and eventually congress will get with the will of the American people,” Frank said.

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