Family members of the victims in the Aurora, Colo., shooting are asking Jim Lehrer to address gun violence as he moderates the presidential debate tomorrow. From an open letter to Lehrer:

On Sept. 19, you, as the moderator of the nation’s first presidential debate, announced that the questions you would ask President Obama and Governor Romney will focus solely on the economy, healthcare, the role of government and governing.

We, members of the families who lost loved ones in the Aurora Theater shooting on July 20th, believe that the problem of gun violence in America must be addressed. …

The debate takes place at the University of Denver, less than 10 miles from Columbine and only 15 miles from the Aurora Theater where our loved ones were murdered in what was the single worst shooting massacre in American history.

We know that we, as a nation, are better than this. The presidential candidates know it too. We are anxious to hear what solutions they might provide. …

We encourage a national debate on this issue. You, Mr. Lehrer, can help all Americans by advancing the discussion. This is the time. This is the place.

The letter is signed by 13 people who lost family members in the shooting this summer.

Stephen Barton, who was shot but survived, is featured in a gun control TV ad that will air during the debates.

Read the full letter here.

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