JACKSON, TN - (WMC-TV) – A Mid-South man is calling for stricter gun control after his 8 year-old grandson survived the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.
Bill Pflaum's next message to his 8 year-old grandson will be simple, and sweet:
"I love him," he said.
8 year-old Bear Nikitchyuk was on his way to the principal's office to turn in his classroom's attendance report when evil entered his school last Friday.
"Was in the hallway, heard the bullets going by, and got pulled into another room, and saved," Pflaum said.
Pflaum heard news of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary from another relative. His immediate concern was his grandson's safety.
"I called right away and my daughter Erin was taking him home. I talked to him, he sounded terrific, and what a relief," he said.
He credits Bear's survival to the quick-acting teacher who pulled him from the hallway, and random luck.
Whatever kept the shooter from entering his classroom instead of the ones in which 20 children and their teachers were shot and killed with an assault rifle, the kind of weapon Bear's father Andrei spoke out against during a press conference in Washington Tuesday organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
His grand-dad in Jackson, Tennessee is now joining the chorus of those calling for a renewed ban on assault weapons.
"Armed forces can have them and if police can have them in limited numbers, that's fine -- but no ordinary citizen living in this country should have access to them," Pflaum said.
The Vietnam vet believes swift, meaningful legislation may prevent other children from living through what his grandson did.
Pflaum believes school security and mental health issues need more attention following this massacre as well.
He hopes to visit his grandson again next month.