Gun violence survivors react to Capitol Hill sit-in

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – As protests continues in the House floor over gun control measures, survivors of gun violence in Richmond are weighing in on the debate.

On December 19, 2015, Kele Wright’s life changed forever.

“That’s when I felt my world fall,” she explained to 8News Reporter Matthew McClellan. “My world just came tumbling down.”

Wright’s 12-year-old daughter, Amiya, was visiting a friend on Richmond’s northside when she was killed by a stray bullet as two men fought outside.

“I just kept saying, ‘not my baby, not my baby, that can’t be my daughter,’” she said. “(My life) was all for her, and now I feel like there’s no purpose.”

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As democrats take to the house floor demanding a vote on gun control, Wright said she wants to see a breakthrough.

“Lawmakers need to take into account what people are going through when they lose a loved one to gun violence,” she said.

“Lawmakers need to take into account what people are going through when they lose a loved one to gun violence.” — Kele Wright

Tameka Jefferson is also grieving the loss of a loved one. Her brother, Mark, was shot and killed on Richmond’s southside last October.

“When you come to the communities and see people who are dealing with this every day in their back yard, it’s a different sense of reality,” Jefferson said.

It’s a sense of reality that hit home for some lawmakers after the Orlando massacre on June 12.

FD3D6ABF15F74F4FBB21E34FDCBD29C5“They’re just trying to get a vote on the floor,” said Gena Reeder with Moms Demand Action. “Because these lawmakers need to be held accountable for where they stand on gun violence prevention.”

For Wright and countless others, prevention did not come in time to keep loved ones safe.

“(Amiya was) my only child. I have no more kids,” she said through tears.

Lawmakers in Washington say they will stay on the House floor as long as they have to.

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