Calif. shooting stirs emotions for Coloradoans

Posted at 5:08 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 19:08:22-05

The mass shooting in California brings back painful memories for many Coloradans.

"My sister was the school psychologist at Sandy Hook," said Jane Dougherty of Littleton.

Dougherty’s sister, Mary Sherlach, bravely ran toward the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary three years ago this month.

"She made a conscious decision to try to do something, which is incredibly brave," Dougherty said.

Dougherty says the constant drumbeat of mass shootings keeps getting louder and, in her opinion, universal background checks are long overdue.
"We have to start somewhere,” she said. "Nobody died from a background check. Nobody's going to die from a background check."

She also said it's time to put a system in place for those crying out for help.

"We need a system that will allow family members, teachers, doctors and people in a position of authority - such as a school resource officer - to come forward to law enforcement when they are concerned about a dangerous person who may own a gun. If a family member is making threats or acting in a dangerous manner towards themselves or others, and they are a gun owner, families need a legal process to have the gun removed quickly. Some states, like California and Connecticut, have passed Red Flag laws that allow the temporary removal of a gun. If Colorado had this type of law, it is possible Aurora, Arapahoe and even Colorado Springs could have been prevented." 

Dougherty said it’s often the victims' families that bear the burden of speaking out.

"We just have to keep trying because we don't want other people to go through what we're going through."