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Democrats offer emotional calls to end gun violence on convention's third night

Democrats offer emotional calls to end gun violence on convention's third night
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An emotional call for action to prevent gun violence led the Democratic National Convention’s third night, headlined by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Victims of gun violence joined Giffords in promoting Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' MORE by sharing stories of how gun violence changed their lives.

We can let the shooting continue, or we can act. We can protect our families, our future. We can vote,” Giffords said.

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Giffords's videotaped remarks were preceded by a video featuring DeAndra Dycus, the mother of a son left paralyzed and nonverbal by gun violence.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE, he doesn't care, he didn’t care about the victims after Parkland, Las Vegas or El Paso,” Dycus, an activist with Moms Demand Action said, referring to mass shootings that occurred during Trump’s first term.

Photos of her and her son, Deandre Knox, both before and after the shooting were shown in the feature. Dycus offered glimpses of what it is like to love someone who survived a shooting but was left changed, saying that she did not believe her son felt lucky when he was being bathed head to toe.

“I want a president who cares about our pain and grief, a president who will take on the gun lobby to ban assault weapons and close the loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” she said. “Joe Biden has taken on the [National Rifle Association] twice and won and he will do it again as president.” 

Giffords is the founder of gun control advocacy group Giffords. She endorsed Biden in March, and her husband is seeking the Senate seat in Arizona held by Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyDemocrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Trump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego MORE (R). 

Giffords was shot in 2011 at an event in Tucson, Ariz. 

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Words once came easily, today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice. America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words. We are at a crossroads,” she said on Wednesday.

She added that Biden was there for her following her shooting and voters can be on the “right side of history” by electing him.

Biden’s gun violence prevention plan includes spending $900 million to help cities combat gun violence, strengthen laws to protect women and prevent domestic violence, and curtail harassment online that could lead to gun violence.

Parkland shooting survivor Emma González narrated a video to open the Wednesday night segment on gun violence.

“The whole point of what I'm saying here is until one of us or all of us stand up and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I can't sit by and watch the news treat these shootings as acts of god,’ gun violence isn't just going to stop,” González said in the video.

González is one of the founders of March for Our Lives, a student-led anti-gun violence movement formed by survivors of the Parkland, Fla., shooting. The February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people and injured 17 others. 

The activists underscored their messages by noting that their stories are all too common across the U.S. 

“The child that I birthed is not able to live his dreams and that hurts,” Dycus said. “Every day we’re reminded that he may never be the same. We are not alone. In every town across America there are families who know what a bullet can do.”