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Gun-control supporters gather in Phoenix for National Day to Demand Action

PHOENIX — It’s National Day to Demand Action, as people call for universal background checks on all gun buyers and an assault weapons ban.

A group gathered Thursday for a downtown rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

Mari Bailey’s son Michael was 21 when he was shot and killed almost 10 years ago. That was when she began her fight to stop gun violence. She said that this 100th day since the Connecticut school shootings prompts the time for tougher gun laws.

“If it saves one life, and one more mom from going what I went through, let’s do this.”

The Center for American Progress said Arizona is the ninth-deadliest state for gun violence with a rate 40 percent higher than the national average.

The center said 3,300 people were murdered by guns in Arizona from 2001 to 2010. That’s almost double the number of all U.S. combat deaths in the Afghanistan war.

Gerry Hills, with Arizonans for Gun Safety, said there’s no magic solution to stopping gun violence. It will take more than just tougher laws.

“A background check is only as good as the database it’s checked against. Arizona has 120,000 mental health records missing from the system. We have domestic violence restraining orders missing from the system.”

Her brother was killed in a 1994 mass shooting in Michigan.