D.C. delegate to Congress will bring the mother of a drive-by victim as her guest to President Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow night in an effort to raise awareness of her opposition to Republican-backed tweaks to the district’s gun laws.
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will bring Nardyne Jefferies, a District of Columbia resident whose 16-year-old daughter, Brishell Jones, was killed in a drive-by shooting on South Capitol Street on March 30, 2010.
“Nardyne Jefferies’ presence representing the District at the President’s State of the Union speech helps us make the point that, for decades, gun violence has taken our kids with little national attention to the thousands of big-city child and adult victims here and throughout the country,” Norton said. “Now, with the tragic massacre of an entire first-grade class, we have the best opportunity since 2004, when the federal assault weapons ban expired, to enact meaningful gun safety legislation.”
“Most of the kids in big cities who have been victims of gun violence have been killed by handguns, but the comprehensive steps being considered by Congress, particularly background checks, will save the lives of children and adults everywhere. It is up to an outraged public to help us show that the gun lobby has finally met its match.”
Norton has taken umbrage with numerous attempts to repeal or amend D.C.’s post-Heller gun laws, including a resolution by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) expressing “the sense of the House of Representatives that active duty military personnel who are stationed or residing in the District of Columbia should be permitted to exercise fully their rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and therefore should be exempt from the District of Columbia’s restrictions on the possession of firearms.”
Gingrey got the measure through last Congress as an amendment to the defense reauthorization bill, but Norton got the provision yanked out of the final bill in conference.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is bringing a fourth grader — not a Sandy Hook student — from Newtown, Conn., along with her mother as State of the Union guests.
Other Democrats bringing gun victims to Obama’s address include Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jim Langevin (R.I.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Lois Frankel (Fla.), Gloria Negrete McLeod (Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Janice Hahn (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Brad Schneider (Ill.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Elizabeth Esty (Conn.), Mike Thompson (Calif.), Jim Himes (Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and Lujan Grisham (N.M.).