Survivors of 1 October shooting go to Washington, D.C. seeking stricter gun laws

LAS VEGAS - Survivors of the 1 October mass shooting are demanding stricter gun laws, so they're taking their message cross country. This week, three women who were at the Route 91 Harvest Festival will travel to Washington, D.C. to make sure more is done when it comes to gun control laws.

The women and survivors say their visit to Washington, D.C. isn't about taking away anyone's right to bear arms.  They just believe more can be done to keep weapons and gun accessories out of the wrong hands.

Heather Gooze spoke to 8 News Now before embarking on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I'm terrified. I'm excited. I'm empowered," according to Gooze, 1 October shooting survivor.

Gooze, along with two other shooting survivors, will travel to D.C. Tuesday to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They will also speak before Congress.

Gooze was bartending at the Route 91 Harvest Festival during the massacre.  But, when shots rang out, she stayed behind with a wounded victim instead of running. The victim didn't make it.

"I was just there working, trying to do my job and next thing I know I'm smack in the middle of a war zone," said Gooze.

According to Gooze, that has motivated her to demand stricter gun laws.  Gooze says her message is not anti-gun, but it is anti-gun violence.

"Guns don't kill people, it's people that kill people, and we make it way too easy for them to get a hold of -- you know -- killing machines," said Gooze. 

Gooze is working with an organization called the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.  A local chapter of the group is even in the works in the Las Vegas valley.

Gooze is also pushing for a ban on bump stocks, the accessory used during the shooting to make a semi-automatic gun shoot faster.

"There is no reason that those should be available to the general public," Gooze said.

Gooze says she wants to be the voice for the more than 22,000 concert-goers who were there with her that deadly night, along with every other victim of gun violence.    

"It will never be ok, but what I went through was worth it if I can make a little bit of a difference," Gooze said. 

Gooze will also be speaking during a vigil for the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.  The three Las Vegas survivors will be in D.C. through Thursday.


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