By Lowell Melser, WBAL
Democratic members of Maryland's congressional delegation gather in an attempt to maintain pressure on the issue of gun safety legislation.
Maryland gun-safety advocates met in Baltimore to support tougher laws connected to gun violence, setting up what could be an interesting debate next week on Capitol Hill.
After last week's sit-in on the House floor, many of Maryland's Democratic members of Congress, along with gun violence prevention advocates and victims of gun violence, made an attempt to keep up the pressure on the issue, addressing a crowd in north Baltimore.
Kate Ranta talked about being stalked by her ex-husband, who shot her and her father.
"My son, who is 7 now, but 4 at the time, stood screaming, 'Don't do it, Daddy, don't shoot Mommy,' witnessing the whole thing. It was luck that no bullets entered his tiny body," Ranta said.
Sheryl Baughman lost her son to suicide. She said she believes that a waiting list for the mentally unstable might have saved him.
"Had they made him wait, maybe whatever circumstances were going on in his life that day could have been different," Baughman said.
Maryland's Democratic political leaders also used the forum to call out Republicans for not working with them on gun legislation, but they had trouble giving reasons why no such legislation passed when Democrats had control over the House and Senate in President Obama's first two years in office.
"I can't answer the question. I was on the intelligence committee, so I wouldn't have dealt with that to begin with, but I know it has always been an issue," said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-District 2.
Others blamed a supposed stronghold by the National Rifle Association over Congress at the time.
"The tide is turning, and the intimidation factor that operated on all of Congress at one point has begun to shift," said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-District 3.