Congressman Jim Langevin, Democrat from Rhode Island, is the first and only quadriplegic ever to serve in Congress. Himself a victim of gun violence, Langevin organized dozens of House Democrats to bring victims of gun violence to the State of the Union speech. Congressman Langevin joined Huffpost Live's Mike Sacks on Friday to talk about what inspired him to take that step.
"I organized the effort because I wanted to put a human face on the tragedy that gun violence has taken in our country," Langevin said, admitting he was "overwhelmed" by the number of congressmen willing to give up their only ticket to someone "who has had their life shattered by gun violence."
It was at the age of 16 that Langevin, then a police cadet with hopes of becoming an FBI agent, entered the locker room where he would take his last steps. Two officers admiring a new .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol pulled the trigger, thinking it was empty.
"The bullet went through my neck and severed my spinal chord," Langevin said, "so I've been paralyzed for over 30 years now."
Today, Langevin has become a front runner in the reignited debate on gun control.
"More guns are not the answer to keeping our kids and our communities safer," Langevin said, outlining that his experience "just goes to show that if an accident can happen in what should have been among the safest environments, in a police station with trained police officers ... an accident can happen anywhere."Watch the Full Segment on Huffpost Live.