October 25, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 172 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
EPIDEMIC OF GUN VIOLENCE; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 172
(House of Representatives - October 25, 2017)
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[Pages H8147-H8148] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] EPIDEMIC OF GUN VIOLENCE The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Kelly) for 5 minutes. Ms. KELLY of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise, yet again, because Americans are dying each and every day. The epidemic of gun violence has ended too many futures before they have begun, left too many empty seats at the dinner table, torn too many families apart, and left too many communities asking: How many more before Congress acts? Mr. Speaker, I can't blame them. With 90 Americans dying from guns every day, this House and this Speaker continue to turn a blind eye to this epidemic. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, one man carried out this Nation's worst mass shooting in history in just 11 minutes, leaving 58 Americans dead. These are mothers and friends, sons [[Page H8148]] and brothers, people just trying to enjoy some country music. Instead of going home to their loving families, instead of going home and being greeted at the door by their toddler, they were carried away in bags. They are now another tragic statistic, another empty seat at Christmas dinner--lives taken, not lost--lives with such potential, lives that were doing amazing things, lives that were raising families and serving their community--lives taken, not lost--lives surrounded by hundreds of other lives that will never, never be the same. Each life taken is a tragedy, but the hundreds of other lives impacted forever in those 11 minutes are, equally, now made tragic. 489 people were injured. Mr. Speaker, let me say that again, because we often focus on those killed but forget about the hundreds fighting for their lives in the intensive care unit. We forget about those who will need to learn to walk again or will never walk again. We forget about the mom who will never hold her baby again because her arms are paralyzed, the other grandfather who will never see his grandchildren again because he has been blinded. Mr. Speaker, while Las Vegas marked that largest mass shooting in U.S. history, just 477 days earlier, the largest mass shooting was a preventable tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that took 49 lives and wounded 58. How can you say there isn't a problem with gun violence when it takes less than 500 days for one horrific mass shooting to eclipse another as the deadliest in American history? How can you say there is nothing we can do, as Americans die, as kids get shot and are never the same? How is one man able to be so destructive in such a short amount of time? The answer is in an after-market modification called the bump stock that turns an assault weapon into a machine gun, something outlawed by this House during the days of Al Capone. Yet it is still possible to walk into a gun store, purchase this device, and, within minutes, have a gun of war in your hands. Mr. Speaker, how did we let this happen? More importantly, how are we still letting this happen? Why haven't we acted to outlaw these devices that allow people to make machines in their backyard? There is a commonsense bipartisan bill awaiting action. Why haven't you called it to the floor? Is it because the NRA changed its mind and now opposes the bill? Crickets--that is what I thought. How can we keep our families safe when this House and this majority is beholden to the gun lobby dedicated to profits over people? ____________________