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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Gun-control group targets Heitkamp with print ads

  • In a statement, Heitkamp spokeswoman Whitney Phillips responded to the ad by saying Heitkamp believes any solution to mass shootings must go beyond focusing solely on gun laws.
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  • Parents of three students killed in separate mass shootings have signed onto an ad chiding newly elected U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for critical comments the North Dakota Democrat made about gun restrictions being considered by the Obama administration.
    The ads from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence reference shootings in Newtown, Conn., Oak Creek, Wis., Aurora, Colo., Tuscon, Ariz. and at Virginia Tech University. It includes a photo of a hillside memorial for victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown.
    Beneath the photo, the ad's text reads in part, "Shame on you, Senator Heidi Heitkamp for telling the country on Sunday that the Obama administration's response to Newtown — which may include universal background checks and a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines — is 'extreme."
    It is signed by parents of victims in Aurora, Tucson and at Virginia Tech.
    The ad refers to remarks Heitkamp made Sunday on ABC's "This Week." Asked about the Obama administration's response to the Newtown shootings, Heitkamp said, "I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration that's way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about. It's not going to pass."
    In a statement, Heitkamp spokeswoman Whitney Phillips responded to the ad by saying Heitkamp believes any solution to mass shootings must go beyond focusing solely on gun laws.
    "The discussion must examine mental health, school security, and community development to help parents identify and address children potentially suffering from mental illness," Phillips said. "Senator Heitkamp has clearly stated that all options must be on the table when it comes to addressing gun violence in America."
    Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said the group ran the ads against Heitkamp because what she said is offensive to those affected by gun violence.
    "I think a lot of us were just really taken aback by her remarks," he said.
    The print advertisements are running in two Washington-area newspapers, Politico and Roll Call, on Tuesday and will appear on Wednesday in the Fargo Forum and Bismarck Tribune.

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