Victims of Gun Violence Attend State of the Union

Feb 13, 2013

While the Newtown, Connecticut shooting has gotten the most media attention of late, last night at the State of the Union address two Virginia lawmakers honored the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.

Peter Read of Annandale, Virginia lost his daughter Mary in the Virginia Tech shooting. He says he was honored to be the guest of Congressman Gerry Connolly at the State of the Union address.

“It’s hugely meaningful to me and obviously for my daughter Mary and for the other Hokie families.”  

More than twenty lawmakers invited victims of gun violence or their family members to attend the president’s annual address. Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott gave his extra ticket to Lori Haas of Richmond. Her daughter Emily was shot twice but survived the Virginia Tech massacre. Haas says it was important for so many people impacted by gun violence to be present in the House chamber as the president called for new gun-control measures. “It is incumbent upon all of us to raise our voices and to speak to this issue and to call on Congress to act. The President has put forth a big package, a nice set of proposals and that combined if we pass all those proposals, come into legislation and become law, we will save lives and that’s our job.”

And Peter Read says the details don’t matter as much to him as getting action.
“The art of the politically possible is for the politicians to figure out but I will work with anybody who will work with me to get the right things done," said Read.

Before the address the guests were taken to a private event at the White House and many have been lobbying lawmakers for action while at the Capitol.