Pocan, Community Leaders & Local Activists Hold National Day of Action Rally on Gun Violence Prevention
Madison – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), along with community leaders and local activists, held a National Day of Action rally on gun violence prevention in downtown Madison. Last week, the Democratic #NoBillNoBreak Sit-In on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives showed that Republican Leadership can no longer ignore the epidemic of gun violence. Today marks a National Day of Action on gun violence prevention, as Democratic Members of Congress from across the county will take the fight for commonsense gun safety to the streets. You can find a fact sheet on gun violence in America here.
“Since Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans will not stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the gun manufacturers, my Democratic colleagues and I held events across the country today to ensure the voices of the people are being heard,” said Rep. Pocan. “The gun violence epidemic affects our communities every day and it is long overdue for Congress to address this issue. I want to thank everyone who showed up to the rally on this National Day of Action to say enough is enough. Together, we can demand Congress take action to help make our communities safer.”
The National Day of Action for Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention comes after House Democrats sat-in for 26 hours on the House Floor last week to demand that Speaker Ryan and House Republicans allow an immediate vote on bipartisan, commonsense gun violence prevention, including universal background checks. Republican Leaders adjourned the House early for the Fourth of July congressional recess, leaving Washington D.C. without bringing these bipartisan gun violence prevention bills to the floor for an up or down vote.
“Just one week after the historic sit-in on the House floor, leaders in Congress held yet another historic event to urge our elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives to hold a vote on bipartisan legislation that protects the rights of law-abiding Americans, keeps guns out of the wrong hands, and saves lives,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions. “I want to thank Congressman Pocan for helping lead the fight against our nation’s gun violence crisis. Speaking is difficult for me. But I haven't been silenced. And neither should the American people. Their Representatives must vote to make our communities safer.”
“Gun violence is at a high, and it’s got to be stopped. I am a victim of gun violence. I think I am a good person to speak on behalf of it,” said Jackie Miller, a gun violence survivor from Madison, WI. “I talk to thousands of youth and they are guilty of gun violence. After I am done talking they are either crying or looking straight down. They are ashamed that they got caught up in gun violence.”
"We can't continue to give prayers and thoughts to families after someone loses a loved without providing reasonable solutions to gun violence,” said Michael Johnson, President & CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. “The prayers and thoughts are good but they need to followed by reasonable legislation that support the men and women that patrol our streets with sensible gun laws that protect children and families in every neighborhood across our nation."
“Enough is enough. Congress must act in concert with Representative Pocan to keep us safe,” said Mayor Paul Soglin.
Speakers in attendance included Jackie Millar, gun violence survivor and leader in the restorative justice movement, Everett Mitchell, Dane County Circuit Court Judge and Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, Veronica Lazo, Executive Director of UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, Patrick Farabaugh, Publisher, Our Lives Magazine, Michael Johnson, President & CEO for the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Terese Berceau, State Representative (D-Madison), and Paul Soglin, Mayor, City of Madison.
Organizations that supported the National Day of Action included Everytown for Gun Safety, Breaking Barriers Mentoring, Inc., Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, Our Lives Magazine, OutReach, Moms Demand Action, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE), Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, and Fair Wisconsin.
# # #