Congressman Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are among more than 20 reps bringing guests to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night whose lives have been impacted by gun-related violence.
Langevin says the point is to personalize the issue as the tragedy last year in Newtown, Connecticut, recedes in time:
"I want people in the gallery there who have been affected directly, because it puts a human face on why it is so important for this Congress to take up some meaningful legislation to prevent gun violence. It is really also about going to the American people directly, which is what President Obama is doing and certainly what I'm trying to do.
"Because it's going to be the American people that force a change on gun issues in this country. And if people around the country join with us, and they the message, call their representatives, their senators and demand that we take up legislation to end gun violence, I know it will happen."
Langevin is bringing as his guest Jim Tyrell, whose sister was killed during a Providence robbery in 2004.
Cicilline is bringing Cleora Francis-O'Connor. Her 17-year-old son was killed during a South Providence shooting in 1997.
(Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is bringing Grover Fugate, head of the Coastal Resources Management Council, to highlight the issues of climate change and oceans. Senator Jack Reed is bringing Carolyn Rafaelian of Alex + Ani, to focus attention on jobs and manufacturing.)