Three years after Tucson shooting, not much has changed - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Three years after Tucson shooting, not much has changed


It's been three years since the mass shooting in Tucson  left six people dead and 13 others injured, including former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The shooting sparked a nationwide debate about gun control and mental illness.

Some people say not much has changed with all the political gridlock in Washington.

A push to ban certain assault weapons went nowhere.

So did proposals to limit ammunition magazine clips.

A call for universal background checks was also defeated.

Hildy Saizow is President of Arizonans for Gun Safety.

Saizow told CBS5 that despite the lack of policy change when it comes to gun control, she is encouraged by the growing number of grass-roots groups urging lawmakers to take action.

"Even in Arizona, the public wants to see common sense gun laws and the legislature is not listening," aid Saizow. "That's similar to what's happening in Congress, but we're going to keep pushing and nudging policy makers until they come in line with public opinion."

The battle seems to be especially tough at the state capitol, where Arizona lawmakers recently eliminated the need for a concealed weapon permit, and restricted gun buyback programs.

State lawmakers also attempted to allow guns into public buildings and college campuses, but those proposals were vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

But what about mental health?

Diana Kramer with Arizona's Department of Health Services said that state lawmakers allocated $250,000 last year to expand the state's Mental Health First Aid Program.

The program provides training for teachers, social organizations and first responders, showing them on how to spot someone with mental illness - and what to do about it.

"The goal is to get people help and to not be afraid to even ask the questions," said Kramer. "To not be afraid if they see someone who may be in need - acting out of the norm."

Since last year,  the state has helped train 4,700 people to recognize the signs of mental illness, and know what to do when they see it.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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