ORLANDO, Fla. - As more information comes to light about the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, a familiar feeling washes over Brandon Wolf.
Wolf is a survivor of the 2016 Pulse shooting in Orlando.
"That’s probably the hardest part as a survivor of gun violence," he said. "Watching these things unfold, is knowing what people are going to go through. Knowing what communities are going to experience as they bury the ones that they love."
Wolf now advocates for gun violence prevention. Upon hearing about the shooting, he called on lawmakers to pass legislation dealing with gun reform. He believes it is long overdue.
"They know that we have to start with universal background checks, that bill is currently in the senate it’s being heard," said Wolf.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden shared similar sentiments. During a news conference, the president said he wants a nationwide ban on assault-style weapons, restrictions on magazine capacity, and wants to close the so-called Charleston loophole, which allows for default gun sales after inconclusive background checks.
However, some gun owners think this is the wrong approach. Ron Perkinson owns the Volusia Top Gun store in Daytona Beach.
"These criminals that have these guns aren’t coming into stores like mine and purchasing them. They’re buying them second hand or most of them are stolen firearms," he said.
Wolf believes people are closer on the issue of gun reform than they think.
"Remember in 2018, after the shooting in Parkland, Governor Rick Scott actually passed common-sense gun safety reforms and as I said, no apocalypse happened. People still maintained their guns and we were able to make some change together," he said. "My encouragement is that we meet each other in the middle. That we don’t argue on the edges of the conversation, we argue where we already agree -- and that is that we want a world where children are safer. Now we just have to get to the nuts be bolts of how that gets done."
Turning his focus to survivors and families of victims, Wolf suggests reaching out to organizations such as Survivors Empowered for help. He explains the group can help survivors and families understand what to expect emotionally, and legally.
"My hope is that the survivors and the families of the victims know they are not alone. That there are other communities out there that have unfortunately experienced the same thing just like ours and we’re here to help," Wolf said.
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