People Touched by Gun Violence Speak Out in DC

WASHINGTON — Continuing the efforts of their sit-in on the floor of the House last week calling for more gun control, Democrats declared Wednesday a National Day of Action for Gun Violence Prevention.

Events were held around the country, including a roundtable at D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

It was organized by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and included emotional testimony from people touched by gun violence.

As she has at other events, Nardyne Jefferies held up a graphic autopsy photo of her 16-year-old daughter Brishell Jones, who was killed with an AK-47 in a 2010 drive-by shooting in the District.

Jefferies says more gun control is needed, and judges aren’t taking the problem of repeat offenders as seriously as they should.

“It’s not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s not a rich thing, it’s not a poor thing. This is an American thing. We’re being terrorized in a first-world country, every single day. I guarantee you somebody’s being shot right now, while we’re sitting in here,” she said.

In 2013, Cynthia Dawkins’ son Timothy, a community activist, was caught in crossfire in D.C. and killed. He was 24 years old.

“Timothy was hit in his back with a 9-millimeter Glock [with a] 32-round extended clip. One bullet severed his spine,” Dawkins said, adding that she blames the National Rifle Association for her son’s death.

Also speaking at the event was D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

“It’s time for some common sense laws, in terms of a ban on assault weapons. In terms of high capacity magazines,” Lanier said.

“We don’t have a local gun problem D.C., we have a national gun problem,” Norton told the gathering.

The D.C. Delegate had an additional message for her colleagues in Congress.

“Stop trying to eliminate the gun laws that protect the residents of the District of Columbia.”

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