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CNN Today

Parent of Columbine Victim Lobbies For Gun-Control Initiative

Aired April 19, 2000 - 2:35 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Tomorrow marks one year since the attack on Columbine High School. Public and private memorials are planned. Some Columbine parents are rushing to file lawsuits this week. Colorado law requires suits against government agencies like the school board be filed within one year. One father is remembering his son by courting public opinion. His gun-control initiative will appear on Colorado's ballot this November.

CNN's Jim Hill has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The past year has held many changes for the family of 15-year-old Daniel Mauser.

(on camera): It's been said many times that there is absolutely nothing worse than a parent losing a child. True?

TOM MAUSER, PARENT OF COLUMBINE VICTIM: A child -- true. It's hard to find anything worse.

HILL (voice-over): For Tom Mauser, the worst happened at Columbine High School, where his shy, quiet son was among 13 people murdered by two suicidal students who were toting illegally-obtained firearms.

MAUSER: Two weeks before the massacre at Columbine, my son Daniel, at the dinner table one night, said to me, "Dad, did you know there were loopholes in the Brady bill?"

Something is wrong in this country.

HILL: Although he'd never lobbied for gun control before, Tom Mauser began a journey that took him from a protest at the National Rifle Association to last week's rally for gun control with President Clinton in Denver.

MAUSER: If you talk to people who've suffered this kind of loss, one of the things that is so common is they don't want it to happen to somebody else, and that very much drives me.

HILL: But of course there is still anger.

MAUSER: You bet, I have anger, but you have to channel, because, you know, I can be so angry, and it really gets me away from where I should be in terms of healing.

HILL: Mauser is busy healing in other ways. Here in Guatemala, the Mausers watched as nearly $80,000 raised in Daniel's name paid for building a school and a library.

MAUSER: We visited some of the classrooms in the community that's getting the library and as they spoke to the children in Spanish they told them our story and told them about Daniel, and they told them a story of good coming from bad.

HILL (on camera): The Mausers say they are also in the process of adopting a child, a little girl from China. They're quick to point out this is not to replace their son. They seem to be a family working very hard to both heal in the future and remember the past.

Jim Hill, CNN, Littleton, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Several events are scheduled tomorrow to mark the one- year anniversary of the attack on Columbine High School. CNN will have live coverage of selected ceremonies.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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