The brother of a woman killed in the Las Vegas massacre took a stand Wednesday, calling for change in memory of his sister and the 57 others killed in the mass shooting.
“I kissed her on the forehead and cried; I was sorry, and I loved and missed her very much. I saw with my own eyes and felt first-hand the carnage these weapons inflict,” said Jason Irvine, recounting the moment when he had to identify the body of his sister, San Diego-based attorney Jennifer Irvine, 32.
Exactly one month after the deadly rampage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas that also wounded more than 500 victims, Jason took a public stand to send a message to the makers of guns and gun supplies.
Jason joined California State Treasurer John Chiang to ask that the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) divest its holdings in sellers of banned assault weapons and bump stocks, the device used in the Oct. 1 massacre.
During his appeal, Jason talked about how his sister died as she danced at the concert, and how people around her tried to save her by giving her CPR as bullets rained down. He talked about the pain of learning that his sister had died.
Jennifer was a family law and criminal defense attorney who earned her bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego and graduated from California Western School of Law in San Diego in 2005. On the night of the mass shooting, she posted photos of herself making silly faces, finding new friends and celebrating at the music festival on social media.
Jason’s plea was heard clearly by the committee, as three California school teachers were also among those killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Chiang also spoke to investment committee members.
“From the moment the first round was fired to the last one that Stephen Paddock put into his own head, approximately 10 minutes passed. But, it was an eternity for the 22,000 concertgoers desperately fleeing the 15-acre enclosed lot – trying to find cover, clinging to life, saying their last goodbyes,” he said.
The California State Treasurer said it’s time to focus on action.
“We have an opportunity to do what needs to be done: to deny weapons of mass carnage to another killer stalking our innocent loved ones at school, work or a Sunday evening concert,” Chiang added.
Four years ago, the pension fund divested in companies that manufacture firearms and ammunition illegal in California after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. That process took two years.
Chaing wants the committee to go further by divesting its holdings of wholesale or retail sellers of banned weapons. To read Chiang’s full plea, click here.