Gun reform activists rally in Orange, demand action from Senate

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

Gun reform activists rally in Orange, demand action from Senate

by Eric Licas

Dozens of protesters lined a street in Orange on Sunday, Aug. 4, to demand action from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the issue of gun violence after a week marred by mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California.

At least 60 people gathered along the 1900 block of Chapman Avenue near Marks Street to attend a rally hosted by Brady Orange County, an advocacy group in favor of gun control. They dipped their palms in red paint and pressed them to signs with messages blaming the McConnell for failing to prevent the deaths of thousands of victims of gun violence.

  • Demonstrators take part in a rally held in support of federal gun law reform on Sunday, Aug. 4, near the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Marks Way in Orange. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brady Orange County President Sandy Wilder (Right) leads chants during a rally in support of federal gun law reform held in Orange on Sunday, Aug. 4. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Felicity Figueroa takes part in a demonstration against gun violence held in Orange on Sunday, August 4, in the wake of mass shootings that left more than 30 people dead in the course of one week. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG)



Demonstrators such as Felicity Figueroa said they were tired of hearing public expressions of sympathy from lawmakers, but limited progress on reform.

“Thoughts and prayers are useless, and I say that as a (regular) churchgoer,” she said. “What we need now is action.”

McConnell faced backlash from political opponents after expressing condolences to victims of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, while taking no action on firearms legislation that was approved by the House in February. Democrats and supporters of tighter federal gun laws have challenged McConnell to end a current Senate recess and immediately call a vote on House Resolution 8.

Participants of Sunday’s rally also called for a ban on assault rifles, and the passage of laws designed to prevent dangerous and mentally ill people from obtaining firearms.

Enacting those changes are a personal mission for Brady Orange County board members Charlie and Mary Leigh Blek. They became involved with the movement more than two decades ago, after their son was killed in New York by a robber armed with a handgun.

“Every time we hear these things, it just rips a scab off all over again,” Charlie Blek said. “We understand the journey that (the victim’s) families are embarking on, and it’s very tragic.”

All credit goes to Eric Licas
Originally published on

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