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Mothers of gun violence victims to attend State of the Union

Two Massachusetts mothers whose sons were fatally shot will be the guests of US Senator Elizabeth Warren and US Representative John Tierney at President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight, joining relatives of other gun violence victims in a showing intended to lend momentum to gun control legislation.

Warren’s guest, Kim Odom, is a Dorchester pastor. Odom’s 13-year-old son, Steven, was fatally shot in 2007. She is a vocal gun control advocate and sits on the board of Mothers for Justice and Equality, a Boston-based organization seeking to end neighborhood violence, Warren’s office said in a statement.

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“We owe it to Steven and all the families who have been impacted by gun violence to do everything we can to put an end to these senseless tragedies,” Warren said in the statement.

Tierney invited Lynnette Alameddine, a Saugus mother whose 20-year-old son, Ross, was slain in the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Tierney also invited Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who is hosting an upcoming gun violence prevention forum with Tierney.

With their choice of guests, Warren and Tierney join a growing group of politicians inviting people on both sides of the gun control debate to tonight’s speech.

The announcements came a day after US Representative Edward Markey said he had invited another Massachusetts mother, Ann Marie Crowell, whose 12-year-old son, Brian, was killed in an accidental shooting at a friend’s house on Christmas Eve in 1997.

First lady Michelle Obama has invited the parents of a Chicago teenager who was killed by a handgun days after attending the president’s inauguration, as well as a Wisconsin police officer wounded in a shooting at a Sikh temple in August.

Representative Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, made headlines after announcing he would bring rocker Ted Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member and outspoken critic of President Obama and gun control measures, to tonight’s speech.

The speech will take place at 9 p.m. tonight.

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at
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