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Local Gun Control Advocate To Attend State Of The Union Address

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – An Evanston anti-gun advocate will be among those in the House gallery Tuesday night, when President Barack Obama gives the State of the Union Address.

Carolyn Murray was invited to the State of the Union by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill). Murray will be in the seat that had been meant for the congresswoman’s husband.

Murray said, back in July, she “kept hearing gunshots outside my window,” so she began organizing a gun buy-back program that was held less than two months ago, in mid-December.

It took place less than three weeks after Murray’s own 19-year old son, Justin, was gunned down and killed in Evanston, outside his grandmother’s house.

Murray said nearly 50 guns were collected that day, and she believes the program was a success, because even one more gun off-the-streets “could save a life”.

Murray said she doesn’t know if President Obama will refer to her during his speech, but she said she supports his proposed gun reforms.

“The rampant increase in violence is out of control and the guns need to be controlled,” she said.

Murray has been working on anti-gun efforts for years. She said her son and her teenage daughter were a part of those efforts.

“It’s definitely been a way of life for us”, she said.

The first candlelight vigil they organized took place in 2006.