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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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From victim to advocate

Survivor's goal: Stopping illegal gun purchases

Shortly after Tim and Jan Heyne moved to Southern California in the late 1970s, the couple began advocating against handguns, joining Handgun Control Inc., which later merged with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence . But in 2005 a devastating irony shattered the Heyne family, which by then included children Jeffrey, Christian and Genevieve.

Tim Heyne
Tim Heyne
Both Jan and Tim’s best friend, Steve Mazin, were killed and Tim was severely injured when a man with a long history of violence shot the three in their suburban Los Angeles neighborhood. The shooter, whom Heyne calls “a soured acquaintance” of Mazin’s, shouldn’t have had access to a gun because Mazin had a restraining order against him.

About a year later, Heyne—who is CEO of Union Entertainment Group that manages two dozen musical artists, including Nickelback and Steven Tyler—began lobbying in Sacramento and with local elected officials. He started speaking at public events and places like his church, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and writing op-ed pieces to promote, in his words, “sensible, responsible and accountable gun laws and safe and sensible gun education.”


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