Angel Colon rose from his chair, grabbing his crutch, and walked slowly towards the podium in a small room in the Capitol.
Colon is struggling to walk again after he was shot multiple times in both of his legs when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June.
Omar Mateen, 29, killed 49 people in the attack, which was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Mateen was influenced by the Islamic State terror group, according to transcripts of a 9-11 phone call Mateen made during the attack.
“I would never wish the pain that I had or still have upon anyone, upon anyone’s family,” Colon said at a press conference Wednesday morning. “We need to prevent gun violence.”
Colon joined Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania to prod Congress to take action. After the Orlando attack, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., launched a nearly 15-hour filibuster in the Senate, and House Democrats staged a sit-in in the Chamber.
As a result, the Senate took four votes on Republican and Democratic proposals that addressed background checks for gun purchases and the ability for someone on the terrorist watch list to buy a gun. None garnered the 60 votes necessary to move forward.
Those joining Colon on Wednesday said lawmakers had to keep pushing for action.
“We’re not giving up on this fight,” Schumer said.
“We have a long way to go,” Casey said at the press conference. “But he only way we can get there is to begin to start passing some measures, to stay and engaged and to have a conversation.”
Colon is on Capitol Hill with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. According to a campaign spokesman, Colon will participate in a handful of meetings with lawmakers Wednesday to push for action on legislation relating to background checks. He is expected to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and members of the Florida delegation, including Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio.
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