(WTNH) -- A Connecticut victim shot in this summer's movie theater massacre in Colorado starts his new role Wednesday night, as a front man in the push for stronger gun control laws.
"I put my hand up, and almost in that same instant, I was shot," said Stephen Barton.
22-year-old Barton's life changed forever, on an early July morning in Colorado.
Barton was with friends in the Aurora movie theater, watching the Batman premier, where police say James Holmes opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 58.
Barton was one of the first shot.
He took a blast to the head from a shotgun; 25 pellets ripped into him, eight of which are still in his body.
"So I basically just fell forward, in front of my seat and because of the nerve damage, my arm like wasn't really responding to my brain," Barton said, "so I was just like lying there, I was really confused as to why that was happening."
Now, Barton's life has changed again.
Wednesday night Barton will star in a national political ad, pushing for more gun control. It will run just before the presidential debate.
"The guns that I was shot with were bought legally, but I guess the point is that our laws are not as comprehensive as they should be," Barton said.
And this one political ad isn't the last you will see of Stephen Barton either. This week he actually moved to New York City, where he will spend the next year working to pass new gun legislation.
Wednesday Barton met with his new boss, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Barton now works for Bloomberg's organization called "Mayors against illegal guns."
Barton says the idea of becoming politically active came to him while he was healing. And has grown as he has watched the presidential campaign.
"Neither President Obama nor Governor Romney have shown any real leadership on the issue," Barton said. "To me, it simply boggles the mind that after this summer in particular, and after these horrifying tragedies, we're not seeing more action, more dialogue. I just see it as an absence in leadership. It's really disappointing."
The first goal of Barton's group is to require background checks for all guns sold in this country. Right now private gun sales are exempt.
Barton says he is really hoping to open up a conversation about guns in this country, and come up with some solutions that aren't hyper-partisan.
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