REP. KIHUEN: CONGRESS MUST ADDRESS THE GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC NOW
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WASHINGTON, D.C – Yesterday, Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen spoke on the House Floor about our nation’s gun violence epidemic and Republican’s failure to take up common-sense reform efforts supported by a majority of Nevadans. Las Vegas was home to the Route 91 Music Festival shooting on October 1, 2017, where 58 people were murdered and more than 500 people were injured. Since that time, Rep. Kihuen has gone to the House Floor 58 times to honor each of the victims of this tragedy and tell their stories. Remarks as prepared can be found below:
“It has been 297 days since the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“On October 1, 2017, 58 people were senselessly murdered at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas and more than 500 people were injured. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember going to Sunrise Hospital and seeing 194 people who had been shot or injured.
“Since October 1, I have come to the House Floor 58 times to honor each of the victims and to tell their stories. For the last nine months, my colleagues have listened to 58 separate speeches, and have looked at the pictures of the 58 victims.
“And my speeches have been met with silence by the House Majority.
“Since October 1, members of the Nevada delegation have asked Chairman Goodlatte to at least hold a hearing on bump stocks, the device that contributed to the massive carnage in Las Vegas.
“Our letters have been met with silence by the House Majority.
“Since October 1, Democrats and a few Republicans have introduced no less than 30 bills to combat gun violence.
“These bills have been met with silence by the House Majority.
“Since October 1, there have been more mass shootings in the U.S., including at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.
“These mass shootings have been met with silence by the House Majority.
“At what point are my Republican colleagues in Congress going to stop being silent? At what point are they going to say we have to do something? We have to take action?
“The United States is in the middle of a gun violence epidemic. Every day, 96 Americans are killed by gun violence. Americans are 25 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries. Americans can no longer feel safe in churches, at concerts, in movie theaters, at work, on military bases, in night clubs, at restaurants, in shopping malls, or grocery stores. And even worse – our children are no longer safe at school. Since 2009, there have been 288 school shootings in the U.S. Today, little kids are afraid to wear light-up shoes to school because a gunman could see them when they have to hide for their lives.
“From the time of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook to the mass shooting in Parkland – the House of Representatives held more than 40 moments of silence related to gun violence. However, in that same time, the Republican Majority refused to consider any real legislation, hold any hearings, or take any action that could reduce gun violence. Despite bipartisan support in this body to ban bump stocks, implement universal background checks, limit high capacity magazines, or ban assault weapons – Republicans say that nothing can be done to prevent gun violence in America. If that’s true, why is the United States the only developed country that has this problem?
“The truth is we can do something. We can take action. Republicans can put the lives of Americans before the gun lobby, the NRA, and gun manufacturers. We can pass bipartisan and commonsense solutions to prevent more shootings and to save lives.
“To my fellow Nevadans and Americans, I want you to know that despite these roadblocks, we will keep fighting. Every day there are people working in Congress to make our country safer. Every day we are moved by your rallying cries and your stories. And every day we will fight to end the gun violence epidemic in the United States.”