Pediatrician who survived Highland Park parade massacre travels to Washington to demand assault weapons ban

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) – They are survivors of 12 mass shootings – Hundreds of people will rally in Washington, DC on Thursday to push lawmakers to ban assault weapons at the federal level.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke Wednesday with a pediatrician who has a unique perspective and a strong message for those in DC

Emily Lieberman and her family have their photo taken during the July 4 parade in Highland Park – just minutes before a gunman opened fire on the crowd.


Dr. Emily Lieberman

Seven people died in the massacre and dozens were injured.

“When we suddenly started hearing that, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’ we knew we were under attack,” Lieberman said. “I hid in a bathroom – an individual bathroom – for two and a half hours.”

Lieberman’s perspective is not just that of a survivor. She’s Dr Emily Lieberman – a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital – and on Thursday she will speak to victims and survivors of more than 12 mass shootings across the country.

They’re all gathering in DC to urge lawmakers to ban assault weapons federally.

“It is my role to use my voice as a survivor of a mass shooting to protect the health and safety of the children of this country,” Lieberman said. “It’s a crisis, and it’s a public health crisis — and it demands a public health solution.”

The rally was organized by March Fourth – a group of volunteers formed in the days following the Highland Park shooting. Kitty Brandtner is the founder.

“We have people from Columbine – 20 years ago – all the way to Highland Park,” Brandtner said. “For the first time, they will unite to call for a federal ban on assault weapons and to call on the Senate to pass this bill.

And for those who push back against the March 4 mission to ban assault weapons — or say it will never happen in this political climate — the organizers have a message.

“We were told that a federal ban would never see the floor of the House. Two weeks after our rally, it not only hit the floor of the House, it passed,” Brandtner said. “I won’t stop until we have a federal ban on assault weapons.”

Brandtner was referring to a previous rally held in DC just days after the Highland Park shooting.


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