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Pair of Morro Bay activists join democratic presidential candidates at Las Vegas gun safety forum

Posted at 6:24 AM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 09:34:34-04

A day after the 2-year anniversary of the Las Vegas Massacre that left 59 people dead, a pair of Morro Bay activists are attending a gun safety conference in Sin City.

The gun safety forum was set to begin Wednesday and 10 Democratic presidential candidates are expected to attend.

Dawn Addis, the organizer of SLO County Women's March, and Alexa Ford, the teenage organizer of March for Our Lives, are both on the list of about 300 invited guests.

"San Luis Obispo has been book ended by mass shootings so we really want to create a situation where our voice can be heard because we don't want a mass shooting here in our community," Addis said.

With the deadly attacks at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks and the Gilroy Garlic Festival in mind, Addis and Ford boarded a plane to Las Vegas to weigh in on gun violence.

"If at 18 we can enlist in the military and legally purchase a weapon, I think we should be able to have a voice in our community," Ford said. "I think we should be able to voice our grievances and concern."

Ford, a 17-year-old Morro Bay High School student, said she may be young but wants her voice heard.

"We're really here to ask them, how are you going to make us feel safe in our communities, in our schools, in our learning environments," Ford said.

According to nonprofit Giffords Law Center, more than 36,000 Americans die from gun violence each year.

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a leader of Giffords Law Center and a gun violence survivor, herself, is hosting the conference.

"We're really excited that this topic has risen to the level that the presidential candidates are willing to take a look at," Addis said. "Of course, it's devastating that this topic has risen to the level but exciting that these candidates are willing to pay attention and try to make some change."

The forum will be live-streamed on NBC News Now.