Former police officer Rep. Andre Carson joined other members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to condemn the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. At the press conference, the representatives of districts with a sizeable black population also called for a vote on stronger gun control laws.

This from the New York Times:

Congressional leaders on Friday voiced dismay and outrage over the killings of police officers in Dallas and called on the American people to unify, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, while echoing the grief and calls for healing, also demanded that Republicans allow votes to tighten the nation’s gun laws.

“We come to this place each week to represent our constituents who are in pain,” said Representative G.K. Butterfield, Democrat of North Carolina and the chairman of the caucus. “As of June 30, just a few days ago, 491 Americans have been fatally shot by the police; most of those were African-American.”

black-caucus-police-shootings_650xMr. Butterfield added, “Last night, despicable crimes were committed against Dallas police officers, and when the dust settled five of them were dead as a result of an organized execution by criminals who possess guns and use them to the extreme. And so the Congressional Black Caucus convenes today to say to America we are continuing our fight to remove guns from the hands of terrorists and would-be criminals.”

Democrats, including the 45-member Black Caucus, have been pushing Republicans to schedule votes on gun control proposals even though those measures are sure to be defeated and similar proposals have already failed in the Senate. They include an effort to block gun sales to individuals on the government’s no-fly list, and a strengthening of mandatory background checks for gun buyers.

“Republicans, what on Earth are you, why are you recoiling and not giving us a debate on gun violence?” Mr. Butterfield said. “Why are you recoiling and not giving us a debate on gun violence? Why not give it a hearing, give us a debate, give us an up-or-down vote on our legislation on gun violence? Why?”

Watch vide below: