August 5, 2016 at 11:35 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Mother of Orlando shooting victim joins LGBT gun safety PAC
Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, one of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre, speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, one of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre, speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Following her moving speech at the Democratic National Convention in support of “common sense” gun policy, the mother of one of the 49 victims of the Orlando mass shooting has joined a newly formed LGBT gun safety political action committee.

Nearly two months after the shooting on Friday, the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence announced Christine Leinonen, a former Michigan state trooper and mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, would join its board of advisors.

“I don’t want another mother, father, friend – anyone – to go through what I have gone through,” Leinonen said in a statement. “Drew was my only son. He was perfect. And now I have to live every day without him, all because a man with hate in his heart had access to a weapon of war that fired thirty rounds a minute.”

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence was launched in the weeks after the Orlando shooting. The goal of the fund is to support federal candidates who support LGBT rights and gun safety efforts.

Along with his boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen was among the victims at the shooting at Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 more were injured.

Also joining the board of advisors for the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence is Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, the first openly gay elected official in Central Florida.

“It is time to do something, it is time for sensible gun reform policies,” Sheehan said in a statement. “As much as we work to make a beautiful, wonderful, inclusive community in Orlando and around the country, it’s not going to make any difference if our kids can’t safely walk our streets.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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