The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James Dozier,

Victims, Families of Mass Shootings in America Meet Leaders in The White House and Congress

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Releases Letter Calling for Action


More than 20 family members and victims of mass shootings across America gathered today on Capitol Hill and met with leaders in Congress and the White House, calling on them to seriously address gun violence in this nation.

Each family member has their own emotional story including that of 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.

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 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 mother who lost her daughter to gun violence in Aurora, I understand deeply what the families in Sandy Hook are feeling. I am in Washington today because my daughter, as well as 11 others in Aurora and 27 in Sandy Hook no longer have a voice. I am here to speak for them now. There must be immediate change to gun policy in America. We should not have to live in fear to go to the grocery store, watch a movie, go to church or send our children to school," said Sandy Phillips, mother of Jessica Redfield Ghawi.

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."

All Americans are encouraged to join these families by signing the petition. It can be found at

(Biographies of victim family members can be downloaded here)

Brady United formerly known as The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence. We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.