Photos Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-29th District) is holding a forum tonight, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Mission College to discuss  what steps need to be taken to reduce gun violence. The forum will be held at the Arroyo Room of the Culinary Department at Mission College.  

Cardenas, along with other Democrats in Congress who were part of last week’s 25-hour sit-in, are bringing the issue from the halls of Washington to their home districts. The sit-in came on the heels of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

“Our sit-in showed that the Republican Leadership can no longer ignore the epidemic of gun violence,” the Democrats wrote. “A movement was born and will only continue to grow.”

A “National Day of Action” was called on Wednesday June 29, to emphasize the need to keep the momentum going and urge Republicans in the House to allow a vote on gun control measures.

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-34th District) held a roundtable and news conference outside of Los Angeles City Hall with Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40th District). 

“We can’t just have moments of silence when we see American lives perish,” said Congressman Becerra. “It’s time to allow the American people to speak through their Representatives and have a vote in Congress on legislation to prevent gun violence.  I stand here today with my colleagues and Angelenos like Mandy Pifer to say, give us a vote.”

“You will never truly understand the gun violence epidemic until it happens to you,” said Mandy Pifer, fiancé of Shannon Johnson, who was killed in the San Bernardino shooting. “I strongly believe that to ignore the role that guns play in this public health epidemic – homicides, suicides, and terrorism – is like throwing away the last piece of a puzzle you’ve been working on for a very long time. It’s frustrating and nonsensical.”

The Democratic sit-in got widespread attention, but was not successful in winning a vote on “no fly, no buy” legislation in the Republican-controlled House.

In the Senate, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy succeeded in getting a vote after staging a filibuster. But his proposal failed to win enough votes for universal background checks that close loopholes for gun shows and online purchases.

A proposal from California Senator Dianne Feinstein that would stop anyone on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun without the FBI’s review also failed.

Compromise legislation being drafted by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is still in play, though.

In Pasadena tonight, June 30, Rep. Judy Chu (D-27th District) will hold an event called “SPEAK OUT: Enough is Enough” with families and victims of gun violence, who shared their personal stories about how they were affected by gun violence. The event takes place at the All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena.

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