U.S. Congressman David Cicilline joined more than 20 family members and victims of mass shootings across America gathered today for a press conference on Capitol Hill. The family members and victims included a father whose 24-year-old son was killed in Aurora, Colorado while shielding his girlfriend from the shooter, a Chicago mother whose son was shot on a bus, and a father who lost his 15-year-old son in the Columbine shooting, among several others. Following the press conference, they met with leaders in Congress and the White House to call on them to seriously address gun violence in this nation.
The group, brought together by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, released a letter that they hand delivered to the White House and Congressional leadership asking for a meaningful dialogue and swift action. The letter, which is attached to this email, is signed by family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence in America.
"I am honored to be here today with courageous Americans who represent not only family members who have lost loved ones to the gun massacres that have become all too common. They represent the families of the 32 Americans who are murdered by guns every day," said Brady Campaign President Dan Gross. "Clearly not all, but so much of the gun violence in our nation could be prevented if Congress would take simple steps to stop arming dangerous people. As President Obama said Sunday night, "Surely, we are better than this.' In fact, we know we are better than this. That's why these families are here on Capitol Hill today. They know that we are better than our children, young adults, and parents being slaughtered in classrooms, movie theaters, malls, and on our city streets. It's time for our elected leaders to show us they know we are better than this too."
"As a longtime gun safety advocate, I am honored to help give voice to those families who have been so tragically affected by gun violence," said Cicilline. "It is important for us to recognize the serious toll that gun violence takes on our communities, and the work we need to do to stand up against it. The tragedy at Sandy Brook Elementary School has ripped at our hearts, and we owe it to these young children and everyone who has lost a loved one to gun violence to do whatever we can to make a difference."
The letter asks that all Americans come together to hold our elected leaders accountable to do everything they can to enact sensible solutions. The letter reads in part:
"We are Republicans and Democrats, from "blue states" and "red states." We live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. We are from many different walks of life. Some of us own guns. Some of us don't.
"We know that the overwhelming majority of Americans support sensible solutions that would have prevented many of our tragedies, and can prevent many more every day."