At a press conference Tuesday that offered gun-violence survivors and family members of victims an opportunity to voice their calls for strong government action to reduce gun violence, Congressmember Alan Lowenthal introduced Long Beach resident Peggy McCrum, the Chapter leader of the Long Beach Area Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. McCrum had been invited by Lowenthal to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Lowenthal, along with more than a dozen of his Congressional colleagues, have given their one ticket to the President’s address to someone affected by a gun tragedy.
McCrum lost her brother Robert Kelley, a Long Beach resident and graduate of Cal State-Long Beach, 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 to act. Now is the time to demand a plan.”
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,” Lowenthal said. “We must take every opportunity to give them a voice, to listen to their stories, and to accept their challenge to take action.”
The Congressmember has already become co-sponsor of three bills directed at reducing gun violence in schools by improving access to mental health care and providing additional resources for mental healthcare professionals.
“I am honored to stand here with Congressman Lowenthal,” McCrum said, “who is part of the solution, joining his colleagues in Congress to propose common-sense solutions to this issue which has caused too many heartaches, too many tears, and simply not enough action.”
On Wednesday, the day after the State of the Union address, Lowenthal issued a statement praising President Obama’s speech. “I believe that we have reached a watershed moment when we can either look forward and do what is right or look back and repeat the mistakes of our past,” Lowenthal said. “I, like the President, choose to move forward with a plan that spurs sustainable economic growth, creates high-paying jobs, promotes equality for all, and responsibly reduces our deficit, while protecting the middle class. By increasing investments in our infrastructure and by focusing on becoming the global leader in green energy technologies, we will be successful in reinvigorating growth and consumer confidence, while at the same time addressing the important issue of climate change.”
Lowenthal also said he was pleased that the President focused on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, calling for a better-built system that personifies the opportunities and promises of the American Dream for all new Americans. “This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and I am ready to work with both parties to get our country moving down the path to real economic security and global competitiveness,” the Congressmember said. “Finally, I was moved when the President said ‘tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource– our children.’ I agree with him when he called for a comprehensive approach to gun safety, and I am looking forward to pursuing that plan with my colleagues in Congress.”
Source: Lowenthal’s office