Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Hollywood Humanitarian Targets Global Gun Trade

Having squared off historical bloodshed (“Amistad”), socioeconomic injustice (“Blood Diamond”) and otherworldly evil (“Constantine”) in past projects, actor
Djimon Hounsou wants to spare our future the same.

He’ll be calling on Congress — specifically Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., and, possibly, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — Thursday to do just that.

Hounsou, who’ll be barnstorming D.C. on behalf of Oxfam America, plans to lobby lawmakers and administration officials about the need to move forward on an international arms trade treaty. The pact has languished on the United Nations’ to-do list for nearly a decade and is facing a fresh round of opposition from the embattled National Rifle Association.

“It feels like a Hollywood movie to see young boys carrying AK-47s and girls not much older than my own daughters nursing their babies. I’ve heard stories of young girls who were raped and being forced to marry the rapist,” Hounsou, fresh from a tour through gun-ridden South Sudan, shared with HOH. “If you could see some of the conditions that women are forced to endure … it’s unfathomable.”

This latest pop-in marks Hounsou’s third trip to Capitol Hill. The Benin native came to town in 2007 to advocate for struggling African farmers during the farm bill negotiations and returned in 2011 to champion global food policies as part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign.

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