New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today met with survivors of recent mass shootings across the country, including the son of a man killed at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis in late September.
Sami Rahamim, 17, is the son of Reuven Rahamim, who was one of six men who died after being shot by Andrew Engeldinger on Sept. 27.
Rahamim said the killings of 27 people in Newtown, Conn. on Friday rehashed the "awful memories" of his father's death. But it also prompted him to get involved with a group that campaigns against gun violence, and led him to the meeting in New York.
The gathering with Bloomberg also included survivors of mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., Tucson, Ariz. and at Virginia Tech.
"It was very touching meeting everyone this morning. People went around the room and shared their all too familiar stories, and the common word that was used is family," Rahamim said. "We vowed that this is not going to be the last time that we see each other."
Rahamim said that he, his mother and two sisters are still coping with the death of Reuven Rahamim in different ways. He and a sister plan to work to reduce gun violence.
"When the time is right, everyone who has been affected by this will come together and say, 'This is something that we're passionate about, this is something that has torn our families apart,'" Rahamim said. "And we can't stand to see it happen to other families across the country."
The meetings on Monday were part of an effort by Bloomberg, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to pressure President Barack Obama and Congress to pass stronger gun control laws in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. The group supports tightening laws on gun purchases without a background check and banning assault weapons.