Roberson wants Birmingham to set tone for gun safety

The beginning of City Council's meeting, Tuesday, started off with a moment of silence for the victims of last Friday's Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Those shootings have Birmingham ready to promote change.

"Birmingham should be the city that stands for non-violence," Councilman Jay Roberson said.

Spearheading the argument is Roberson, who wants to restore funding to mental health programs, explore the possibility of gun-free zones, offer area incentives for gun dealers who do not sell assault weapons and take another look at the city's firearm codes to see what can be strengthened. He also wants to close gun show loop holes to have stricter guidelines.

And that's not all.

"And pursue legislation that would further enhance penalties for gun crimes near schools," he said. "And school zones throughout the city of Birmingham."

Roberson admits there is no single solution to reduce violence. If it were up to him, he'd tell people to love more and hate less.

But with the deaths of 26 people, including 20 children, it has him facing reality.

"I got a 12-year-old, a 10-year-old and a four-year-old," he said, crying. "I'll be damned if someone's going to walk up in their school with a gun and shoot my kids."