Brother of Chapel Hill shooting victim glad tragedy is part of gun control talks
Posted January 5, 2016
Chapel Hill, N.C. — During a Tuesday morning speech on gun control, President Barack Obama mentioned a number of high-profile mass shootings, including the Chapel Hill shootings a year ago that resulted in the death of three young Muslims.
On Monday night, the brother of one of the victims said he wished the tragedy had never happened, but believes it’s good that the killings are part of a larger discussion about gun violence and gun control.
“The right to pursue liberty, life, and happiness and things like that that should be afforded to every American was stripped from my brother, Yusor, Razan, and my family,” said Farris Barakat.
His brother, Deah Barakat, along with his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha were shot and killed inside their Chapel Hill apartment in Feb. 2015. Police identified the shooter as 46-year-old Craig Hicks, who was charged with first-degree murder.
Obama’s speech wasn’t the first time Hicks was referenced when arguing gun control, on either side of the issue.
“It’s crazy how one person can do so much harm to so many people and the gun just allows him to do that. It amplifies his ability to violate other’s rights,” said Barakat.
Barakat admitted he has mixed feelings when it comes to gun control, largely because of his very personal and tragic experience with gun violence.
Hicks did have a valid conceal-carry permit at the time of the shooting. Barakat said he’s not opposed to the President’s stance which, in part, seeks to expand background checks on potential buyers.
“People who have guns and are proud of it should accept that people are being killed with these guns and should be able to look at the other side and say ‘ok, so maybe out look at gun control should be one that can address these issues’,” he said.
Barakat said he believes there is some middle ground when it comes to gun control.
Gun rights in North Carolina
With President Barack Obama announcing plans to expand background checks to cover more firearms sold at gun shows, online and anywhere else, the issue of gun rights is again at the top of minds across the state and country.
For the second time in three years, WRAL.com is curious about what readers think about different gun rights issues, and whether those views have changed since 2013. Questions included in the poll below were generated for a 2013 study commissioned by WRAL.