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Progressive Caucus: Addressing Gun Violenceby Representative Brenda L. Lawrence
Posted on 2015-06-24
LAWRENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the
Second Amendment and Americans' rights to reasonable, responsible gun
ownership; but it is time for us in America to admit we have a problem.
When I see more than two dozen people shot in one weekend in my hometown of Detroit, when I see the face of a deranged and hate-fueled young man--a man who should have never had a gun but was able to destroy the lives of nine amazing people who welcomed him into their church in South Carolina--I know it is time for America to embrace commonsense gun control.
In the span of about 24 hours, 27 people were shot and 3 were killed in Detroit, Michigan. It is a city that I represent, along with my esteemed colleague Congressman John Conyers. The FBI and the Detroit Police Department confirm that, in the city of Detroit, overall crime is down; yet gun deaths are on the rise.
Ninety percent of Americans who were polled want universal background checks for gun purchases. That is 90 percent. What are we waiting for? There is not a Member of Congress who has not been touched by gun violence. That includes one of our own, a colleague that was highly respected, Gabby Giffords.
How many more deaths must families and communities endure? How many more funerals must we attend? How many children must be orphaned? How many parents must suffer the unspeakable heartbreak of losing a child? There is no question that we must act, and we must act now. How many times must we watch on national news what uncontrolled gun violence can do to our country? That action must focus on three principles: establish universal background checks; eliminate the gun show loopholes that allow a person to walk in, pick up a gun, and walk out the door; and enforce our existing gun control laws.
We have seen countries all over the globe who are not experiencing the gun violence that we have here in America, and their citizens have the right to own guns.
It is time for us to awaken from a sleep of the past and address this issue and address it now.