Congressman Alan Lowenthal proudly introduced Long Beach resident Peggy McCrum at a Tuesday press conference that offered gun violence survivors and family members of victims an opportunity to voice their calls for strong government action to reduce gun violence.
McCrum, the Chapter Leader of the Long Beach Area Brady Campaign, was invited by the Congressman to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. Congressman Lowenthal, along with more than a dozen of his Congressional colleagues, have given their one ticket to the President's speech to someone affected by a gun tragedy.
McCrum lost her brother Robert Kelley, a Long Beach resident and graduate of Long Beach State University, when he was shot and killed while leaving a store in Los Angeles at the age of 29. The killer was never found.
"I am here today not just for my brother Robert," McCrum said, "but for the thousands of innocent men, women, and children who are victims of gun violence. There are many avenues we can take to stop gun violence in our country, but we certainly cannot choose the avenue of inaction. Now is the time for Congress act; now is the time to demand a plan."
Congressman Lowenthal, a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and a proponent of President Obama's policy recommendations to reduce gun violence in our communities, said he was proud to have McCrum as his guest and glad she was able to speak out.
"For every person like Peggy, and for every person like Robert, there are a thousand more untold stories of pain and agony caused by gun violence. We must take every opportunity to give them a voice, to listen to their stories, and to accept their challenge to take action," Congressman Lowenthal said.
The Congressman has already become co-sponsor of three bills directed at reducing gun violence in school by improving access to mental health care and providing additional resources for mental health care professionals.
"I am honored to stand here with Congressman Lowenthal, who is part of the solution -- joining his colleagues in Congress to propose commonsense solutions to this issue which has caused too many heartaches, too many tears, and simply not enough action," McCrum said.