Rep. Maxwell Frost joined by survivors of gun violence to push for policy changes
ORLANDO, Fla. - On the heels of a very violent and deadly weekend in Orlando, state and local leaders are vowing to work together to find a way to prevent gun violence before it happens.
"Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children, one of the leading causes of death for adults, yet has some of the least amounts of money going toward data and research," said U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost as he addressed a crowd on the steps of Orlando City Hall on Monday.
The impassioned plea from Florida congressional representative is for a bill he is introducing that would establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention. It would bring those impacted by violence with federal agencies to do research, collect data, and advance policy that would prevent gun violence before it happens.
"How many killings are there going to be before we really put our foot down and do something?" asked one victim of gun violence.
"The time is now to do something about gun violence. The time is now to be done with hollow thoughts and empty prayers," said Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. "The time is now to honor the people who have already been stolen from us and the children who have so much more left to live for, to honor them with action."
The shootings in Orlando came just hours before yet another deadly mass shooting in Louisville, Ky. on Monday, where it is alleged that a 23-year-old bank employee armed with a rifle opened fire at his workplace, killing four. The Louisville shootings, the 15th mass killing in the country this year, comes just two weeks after a former student killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Nashville
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he refuses to accept these shootings as a new normal.
"Preventing acts of gun violence should be a priority for Congress and this legislation puts it at the forefront. There’s no reason this should not be a bipartisan effort. Republicans and Democrats should be for this piece of legislation," Mayor Dyer said.