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?

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