Protesters Against Gun Violence Hold Rally As Part Of National Effort
Protesters against gun violence held a rally Wednesday outside the office of Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, in Stevenson Ranch, as part of a national effort calling for universal background checks.
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“If we made universal background checks mandatory before people were able to obtain a gun, it wouldn’t infringe on Second Amendment rights, and we could also save some lives,” said Peter Rothenberg, Organizing for Action chapter leader volunteer. “It wouldn’t stop every crime, but it would stop some.”
Some of the protesters met with McKeon to address their concerns regarding gun control.
“The Congressman believes that there are obvious problems with the violence in our country, and is working with his constituents and his colleagues to determine how to best address the root issues behind this problem," according to an email statement from Alissa McCurley, a spokeswoman for McKeon’s office. "This includes examining our mental health system, enforcing the current laws and working with law enforcement to determine how best to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
“In my eyes, (the meeting) was successful,” said protester Josh Stepakoff, who also spoke at the event.
As a child, Stepakoff was a victim of a 1999 shooting at the North Valley Jewish Community Center's summer camp in Granada Hills.
“I don’t remember it hitting me… it was kind of a blur,” he said. “After the situation had happened, I knew that the guy was not all there mentally, and he wouldn’t have passed a background check.”
Speeches were given by rally members to discuss their next step.
“Write a letter to your local congressman, or give him a call,” said Rothenberg. “They take calls into consideration.”
McKeon's statement went on to say adding more laws and restricting gun owners is “not the answer."
“The congressman has always been a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and will continue to defend this basic Constitutional right," the statement read.
"If any gun legislation is brought to the House for consideration, the Congressman will consider it closely; however, he will not support legislation that will erode the Second Amendment.”
Before ending the rally, protesters walked to the corner of Valencia Boulevard to hold up signs and bring awareness to the issue.
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