New Mexicans remember Conn. shooting victims
Posted at: 12/15/2012 9:49 PM
| Updated at: 12/16/2012 9:07 AM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Luminarias burned Saturday evening at Tiguex Park in Albuquerque to honor the 26 lives taken in the Newtown, Conn. massacre.
The group Moveon.org organized the event and Mark Horst hosted it. He said geographical distance has no bearing on being moved by the tragedy.
"I just feel like it's important to mourn. When you've got, when something like this happens, you've got 20 six and seven-year olds, that's, someone's gotta cry, you know," Horst said.
But Horst said the vigil had a deeper meaning to it.
Partly about saying, 'enough! Like, this can't continue. Something's gotta change' and we can be part of that," he said.
Harley Kirschner spoke about that change.
"I'm very saddened to think that those kids are the same age as mine, but also I think the state of mental health and the stigma surrounding it is horrible," he said.
Adam Lanza, the suspected gunman in the Newtown mass shooting, had mental problems, according to his older brother, Ryan.
Lanza killed himself after killing 26 women, boys and girls.
Kirschner said he had a recent friend take his life after suffering from mental illness.
Marc Meltzer is the man who tried to shoot his landlord at the Premier Motel on Central, led police on a high-speed chase and then killed himself on a median near San Mateo and Central Wednesday afternoon.
"Things like the Marc Meltzer case, things like Connecticut, could have been stopped," Kirschner said.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease and Control, 25 percent of adults suffer from mental illness in the United States. And people suffering from mental illness are two to six times more likely to harm themselves or others.
But Kirschner said mental illness is one aspect that may have contributed to the shooting, but gun control needs to be addressed, too.
"With this case in Connecticut, I think it's crazy that they would have such easy access to such an insane weapon," he said.
Police said Lanza had three guns in the school, but that he shot most victims with a rifle.