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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Holds Forum with Student Leaders from Around Nation

May 23, 2018
Press Release
Hears proposals for gun violence prevention from young leaders

Washington – Today, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), held a forum with students from around the country, including Charlie Mirsky, 11th Grade, Spanish River High School (FL), Alfonso Calderon, 11th Grade, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (FL), Jennifer Mirbelle, 11th Grade, Miami Northwestern Senior High School (FL), Malachi Dunn, 11th Grade, Hallandale Magnet High School (FL), Ricky Pope, 11th Grade, Miami Northwestern Senior High School (FL), Devery Russell, 12th Grade, Miami Lakes Educational Center (FL), Daniel Gelillo, 12th Grade, Richard Montgomery High School (MD), and Taylore Norwood, 12th Grade, King High School (IL). Students shared their experiences with gun violence and proposals for reform.

“Young men and women across the country are marching, mobilizing and demanding action to end gun violence,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It was a great honor to listen to the stories of some of these young champions, and to be inspired by their eloquence, persistence and leadership.  The Congress must have as much courage as these students have shown, and fight for real action to protect our communities and ensure that no family must endure the heartbreak of gun violence.”

“Our students are leading a movement to prevent gun violence and changing the tide of public sentiment for the better. We have seen this before during the Vietnam War and I have no doubt they will change the course of history,” said Thompson. “Today, I was deeply honored to hear students from across the country tell their stories about the unspeakable violence they have faced and present their proposals for reform. We will stand up and speak out together, and we will achieve our goal of enacting policies to prevent gun violence.”

“Gun violence is a plague that is infecting our nation. No one and no place is immune to it. Shootings are now taking place in places that were once considered safe havens, like schools and churches,” said Wilson. “The issue of gun violence is like an octopus with many tentacles, each representing a different component, and it is imperative that we figure out how to address everyone one of them.”

“Students from across the country are speaking out for their lives. This generation has grown up in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings, and they expect Congress to work to make them safe in their schools and communities. We owe these students so much more,” said Deutch. “I’m proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues who are ready and willing to have a serious gun violence prevention debate, one that respects the Constitution and does everything necessary to keep guns out of dangerous hands. We welcome our Republican colleagues to join us to take action for gun reform now.”

Full written testimony from the students is attached and you can watch the entire forum, including over 40 members of the Task Force, by clicking here.

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The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was established after the tragedy at Sandy Hook and has grown to a membership of more than 145.