Tamera Mowry-Housley was emotional during her triumphant return to her talk show, The Real, Monday calling for a change in gun control policy after her niece was shot and killed during a recent mass shooting.
“We need change when it comes to gun violence, and I don’t care if I have to knock on the doors of the White House to do it, to advocate change,” she stated.
It was her first appearance on the show since her 18-year-old niece Alaina Housley was found to be one of 12 people killed earlier this month in the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. She was attending college night at the bar with friends when a gunman released smoke bombs and opened fire on the crowd.
“Our family’s been through a lot,” Mowry-Housley acknowledged to her co-hosts and the audience. “But the interesting thing about grief is that you’ve got to find the balance of moving forward and grieving at the same time.”
“It’s just been a little over two weeks. She would want me to be here and she would want me, sweet Alaina, to move forward. I don’t like to say move on, because I don’t think I’ll ever move on with the fact that she’s not here with me or with our family,” she continued.
Mowry-Housley’s family is uplifting the memory of their niece, daughter, and cousin by not only celebrating her young life, but championing her lost voice.
“And that is what Alaina’s voice means — to focus more on our similarities instead of our differences and to extend a hand and make real change. Don’t just talk about it, be about it,” she said, showcasing the rubber bracelet bearing her niece’s name dangling from her wrist.
The former Sister, Sister star and her co-hosts wore the turquoise bracelets in Housley’s honor. The bracelets were intended to symbolize an inclusive bipartisan effort to changing gun laws.
“Our goal is basically to bridge the gap of America,” said Mowry-Housley characterizing the nation as “diseased” and “divided.” She added, “And the only way we’re going to see real change is if we’re united to start change.”
She then challenged concerned citizens to approach the issue with civility by crossing the aisle.
“I think the moment we focus on trying to find commonality instead of differences in the beginning, that’s where we can start with looking at human decency,” she declared. “When we start from there, that is when we can get the work done.”
Mowry-Housley admitted later on Instagram that she was “nervous, anxious and determined to speak for Alaina,” but thanked her co-hosts for their support.