tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 16, 2016 6:00am-8:01am EDT
together but they did very good work in the subcommittee to make this a product that both sides could support. and so i thank them for allowing me to be a part of that process. second, let me acknowledge the remarks that senator mikulski who noted that in many ways the world and the country has changed since this bill was scheduled to come to the floor. our heartbreaks collectively in this country for the citizens of orlando and as i'll speak in a moment, in particular in connecticut. our heartbreaks for the people of orlando because we know in a very real way the pain that exists there today but we also know how that pain is really never ending, how the ripples of that pain are unceasing and unrelenting and they span generations. they span neighborhoods.
they span years. newtown is still putting itself back together, probably will be for a long time and orlando the same. and so our heartbreaks for -- and so our heartbreaks for -- and so, you are breaks through a community is going through. but this is a different moment today that lies at the end of last week. there is a new sound in. a for this body to find a way to come together and take action, to do our part to his madness epidemic of gun violence than in particular this epidemic of mass shooting the plate this nation and no other industrialized nation in the world. there's something fundamentally different happening in the
united state that causes us to have a mass shooting in almost a month the basis, caused us to have 372 mass shooting. definition of that would be former people being shot at anyone time and results in 80 or more people on average been killed by guns. suicides commit domestic violence, accidental shootings and homicides. it may surprise you know that for those of us who represent connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything at all in the face of that continued potter isn't just painful to us. it's unconscionable. i can't tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in
sandy hook and tell them that almost four years later we've done that in, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that will happen again to another family. and i shudder to think what it's going to be like for senator nelson four years from now to talk to the parents of those that were killed this weekend in orlando and tell them that four years after a window comment eight years after a new town, been utterly silent. mr. president, i is it on this board dozens of times talking about the subject. often i come down to tell the story of the voices of the big guns of these gun homicides, mass shootings just to make sure everybody knows so this isn't
news to me, but i'm at my wit's end. i've had enough. i've had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocent and i've had en masse of inaction in this body. there is a different set of facts and every shooting. a deeply mentally ill individual who it then isolated in school and its neighborhood. a story of a young man who had a fascination with violent content and violent videogames. there is a story of a young man who had access to a very powerful weapon that was able to shoot 20 kids and kill all 20. there's clearly a terrorist
connection here a very confused young man. a very powerful weapon. history of interaction with the fbi, upholds and a network of surveillance and checks that we need to discuss. every set of facts is different. but what unites all of the shootings from littleton to aurora to newtown to blacksburg to orlando is the weapon of choice in every case is a gun, often a very powerful gun, and aar fit teen style gun designed for the military, for law enforcement to kill as many people as likely as possible.
what unites all of these incidents is our failure to do anything about it. no one mocking. t. they should anyone occur. no blog can allow us to say with certainty that there will still be killing in chicago and new haven and los angeles. there is no legislative guarantee that there will be another omar mateen. but the idea that we don't even try, the idea that we don't even proffer ideas on this floor, debate them as if sensitive to those of us who lived through this. i have great respect for the project that chairman shelby and ranking member mikulski have put on the floor.
i know this isn't going to make the popular with many of my colleagues or with the of this body. but i don't think we should proceed with debates on amendment to this bill until we have figured out a way to come together on at the very least two simple ideas that enjoy this court that 80% to 90% of american. two ideas from the two pieces of legislation that would have been potentially dispositive, impact with respect to the case in orlando. that is one piece of legislation that senator fred stein has introduced that would simply say if you are on a terror watch list that you shouldn't able to buy a weapon. i heard one of my colleagues talk about reservations.
i'm searching there is a way to bridge any divide we have on how to administer that protection in a way that could bring republicans and democrats together. second, in order to make that connection meaningful, you also need to make sure that wherever he went the shooter by the time he goes through a background check. if you put terrorists or suspect a terrorist on a list of those prohibited by god, doesn't do you much good when around half of all gun purchases today i made outside of the back rent checks system. let's say the yearly in the shooter was on a list that prohibited him from buying a weapon and he went to a store and was denied the air 15 style weapon because he was on that list. all he would have to do is go to a weakened gun show or go online and he would be able to get out
but then without a background check. so if you really want to prevent terrorists or would be terrorists or suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons, you have to pass legislation that puts those on the terrorist watch list on the list of those prohibited to buy a gun. give them an ability to get off the list if they are on their recovery. but that i'm on that list as a default. exactly, you have to ask then the sales subject to back rent checks to make sure you create a web that catches the potential terrorist when he tries to buy the weapon. mr. president, i am prepared to stand on the for an talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns through those two measures for frankly
as long as i can because i know that we can come together on this issue and i know that there is other really important business to be done. i know people have amendments. i know there's other issues that senators would like to raise, but having come through the experience of newtown, i've had enough. it has been for years and nothing has been done despite the fact that 90% of the american public wants us to act. the vast majority of gun owners want us to expand the reach of background checks. polls suggest 80% of americans believe people on the terrorist watch list should be able to buy guns. there is no controversy about these two provisions. we can look it up. we can work it out today. we got a maturity of the senate
to support mentioned to me. that legislation still exists. senator schumer has introduced. senator feinstein has introduced a bill to keep terrorists from getting guns. i'm certain there are ways that can be made better. but as someone who represents the community of sandy hook which is still grieving today, i am going to stand on this floor and talk about our experience and sandy have a tremendous experience, they need to come together on this issue and making sure that dangerous people who have designs on mass murder don't get dangerous weapons as long as i can so we can give time to figure out a path forward to bring this body together on the issue of changing our gun laws so that
they reflect the will of 90% of the american people. i know this is extreme but i am suggesting here. but we have had enough of an action in connecticut. and i just don't want the senator from florida who just spoke four years from now to say to those families that he couldn't do anything either. that may tell you what i mean about how this affects sandy hook in an ongoing way, why i couldn't help myself but to come down in take a stand today. the family is they are dealing with this grief in orlando are spread out and all over the great area. it's awful. i can imagine what it's like to visit child.
there are young men and women who died in that nightclub. it is something different when four or five of those kids lived on one road in newtown. all of a sudden overnight for five kids disappear. they are god. it is different when all the other kids in the school here those gunshots. they had to flee, stepping over the bodies of their administrators and their teachers. but pain states that do for a long time is a community. some said in the months and months after what happened in sandy hook occurred, you could be in the classroom and hear a young child scream out the word that seems like a non sequitur. on one particular class to work with monkey.
every so often you would have a student stand up and yell monkey. what that was was a safe word. the teachers had worked out that if a conversation started in class about the shooting, about maybe what one kid had thought and the other student didn't want to be part of the conversation, remember there were survivors from his classrooms as well as kids from the classroom next door. if one kid didn't want to be in the conversation, the child would conversation, the child would stand up and say monkey. at the top of their lungs. and a teacher would come over and break up the conversation. i think about that a lot about little kids standing up and screaming monkey in the middle of the classroom as a reminder of how the trauma of these events does an end. they say in cities across america when one person a shot there were 20 people surrounding them. friends, family members, aunts,
uncles, children who experience posttraumatic stress after that event. studies suggest there's 20 people that experience level of trauma. at least to a cycle of violence. theater that comes from a london being killed often being killed off inmates to someone else getting killed as well. part of the reason over memorial day weekend in chicago there were 60 people who were shot. so this grief is never ending for communities like newtown, which is why i am as passionate today as i was in the days and weeks following an wife for me at orlando is a breaking point. i just looked at myself in the mirror and as you will hear from some of my colleagues who will interject with questions, they've reached a breaking point
as well that we couldn't proceed with business as usual in the senate this week. we couldn't do what we have largely done after mass shooting at a mass shooting. we could go on and debate other issues and ignore the fact that the vast majority of americans, 80% to 90% want us to take this action and that it would be impactful. again, you can say what i am proposing today wouldn't have changed the result in sandy hook because this individual did buy the weapon with a background check through legal means. there's no one change no one change and not that's going to to every situation. but it potentially would have been if tackled in orlando as i'm sure senator feinstein
relics claimed later today, there is the possibility of her bill had been in effect, the bill could have put this individual on a list that would've prohibited him from buying weapons. had weapons. have expanded background checks to apply to internet sales and could've been stopped stopped in its ability to get swept in. we can't know this for sure, but we can certainly say it would have been less likely he would've been able to get the weapon carry out this kind have both lost and supported by the vast majority of the american public being in a. by coming together and finding a way to act on these two noncontroversial measures, will send an important signal to the american public and what the murderers that we are serious about studying this epidemic.
the people notice when we remain silent. i know it's unintentional, but it almost seems to some people as if we don't care about what happens when we don't try to do anything about it. i understand that we have deep disagreements about how to proceed. to wit the exception of one week in 2013, we have not brought a debate to discord which we try to hash out their differences. republican leadership didn't announce in the wake of her land a that we are going to spend this week working on trying to enact measures to make sure that another mass shooting doesn't happen. and in the fundamental disconnect with the american people, when these tragedies continue to occur and we just move forward with business as usual. i am going to remain on this
floor until we get some sick all, sun sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful bipartisan way. orlando is the worst mass shooting in american history. a gunman shot and killed 49 people and shot and killed at least 53 others outside of pulse, a sub for nightclub in her land to about 2:00 in the morning on sunday a gunman opened fire, a large sum for nightclub in orlando. it opened in 2004. the owner opened it to frank to promote awareness of the gay, transgender community ended
hosted trend of love and events. there is one officer working security with the number of private security officers at the exchange fire with the gunman after this incident began at the gunman proceeded to retreat back into the nightclub in take the remaining club goers hostage where he held them for three hours and at 5:00 a.m. a s.w.a.t team comprised of two heroes stand with grenades in an armored vehicle appeared to gunman was killed in a firefight. one officer was injured. on first that rescued approximately 30 hostages. in a press conference at 10:30 this morning, police indicated 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured. the shooter was identified as omar mateen, 29, a citizen from st. lucie county, florida. we now know that this shooter
became a person of interest to bond for spending 2013 and the fbi that he made comments alleging possible terrorist ties and again in 2014 the fbi did open an investigation into the shooter but it was subsequently closed when they didn't think that it warranted any further investigation. subtwo was armed with a glock handgun. he did obtain much vista by both of these guns legally, a handgun and a longtime. he bought them a week or two before the incident so it's pretty clear he was buying these weapons within 10 to kill civilians. prior to the shooting, mateen called 9-1-1 and pledged his allegiance to the boston bombers. complicated storyline here.
you know some of the other storylines about the shooting, whether he had been frequenting that club prior to entering it as a shooter. it's a complicated storyline here. but at the root of it is someone who had been flagged for the fbi. someone who had access to a weapon that was not designed for civilian. ar-15 style weapons were legal in the united states until 2004 after being banned for 10 years. it is not coincidental that there was a massive increase in mass shooting in this country after 2004. we are still gathering information on the exact nature of the motives, but what we know is that this incident is the deadliest mass shooting in the highest casualty mass shooting in american history.
but it is not the first and if we don't do something of ob the last. in 2009 in fort hood, texas, the gunman shot and killed 14 people and shot and injured 30 others at the fort hood military pose. in august on a child and no creek in wisconsin, gunmen shot and injured three others at a sikh temple of the creek sikh temple creek. june 2015th in charleston and we are sitting on the one-year anniversary of this mass shooting. a gunman shot and killed nine people at the manual african episcopal church, one of the oldest and largest black congregations in the old south. about a month later in july a gunman shot and killed five people including two s. u.s. marines and naval officer in shot and injured two others. in san bernardino at the beginning of december 2015th 2
gunman killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the inland regional center. i mentioned these particular shootings because these are the shootings that were investigated as an act of terrorism. these are the shootings that have involved connections to radical groups with the intention to commit an act of terrorism against a minority group. i think it is right that we drill down today on this issue of stopping would-be terrorists from getting guns because just since 2009, this would be the sixth american mass shooting to be investigated by the fbi as an act of terrorism. we think of terrorists as you stand -- is using bombs or explosive device as their weapon
of choice. in fact, the reality is over the course of the last 12, it has been a military style assault weapon that has been the weapon of choice for would-be terrorists. the san bernardino shooter and the other end of shooter shows a kind, not a bomb in order to carry out their attacks because it is frankly a lot easier to get a powerful rifle that was designed for the military and it is to obtain for construct a military capacity bomb or explosive device. and so, we have to admit there is this trendline has been in the direction of powerful fires are used to be in this country. by the way, through bipartisan legislation to carry out this
distraction. you don't have to listen to me. you have to listen to terrorist organizations themselves. isis today relies on mobile attackers in order to perpetuate its mythology of increasing strength. why is that? we've actually had success in reversing their territorial gains in iraq and syria. iss is on the run in the middle east. they are far from being defeated. we need to take strong steps to continue to support the syrians, the rebel forces, to support the iraqi army to push isis back. but they have two narratives they had proffered in order to recruit people into their ranks.
one, the caliphate was inevitable and growing. and for a long time that was. the so-called caliphate, the geographical territory of control was growing. second, the east was at war with the west. this was a fight between the muslim faith and the christian faith. that forced narrative is not as available as it used to be. in fact, for people thinking of signing up for isis covered a don't have to read too deep in the news to know the supposed that caliphate is shrinking, not growing. it doesn't look so inevitable that isis is going to control big portions of the middle east for the long-term. it looks like the gig might be up for them. they are now with another reliant on the second narrative that this is a much broader global war between the east and the west and fails almost attackers in places like. or brussels orlando for san
bernardino become much more important to the continued international growth. and so it is not without cooling fans that terrorist groups have made it very clear to potential converts in the united states that a firearm works just as well as the suicide bomb. they took credit very quickly for this attack and they are going to be hoping that their affairs that they will turn to non-americans. it's our duty to make sure that doesn't happen. and it isn't an either/or proposition . it is not attend their poor fight them here. it's not focused on terrorism or guns. it is both. it is the continual support
fomented that exist on the ground in the middle east to defeat a says for good and to harden our defense is to make sure that these potential of mobile attackers can't get access to an assault weapon. think about this statistic today. we know who is on the list as those being watched. we can match those up and threw a stone and to buy a weapon. the statistics, mr. president, are pretty stunning. individuals on the consolidated terrorist watch list cleared a background check was seeking to obtain a gun and 91% of the attempted transactions. this is between 2004 and 2014. that is a total of 2043 successful transactions out of
2200 or at e3. there are 2000 people over the course of 10 years who are on the terrorist watch list to walk into a gun store and bought a weapon. is there only the ones we know about because 40% of gun sales have been out time of gun stores. and so there's likely another thousand to 2000 people on the terrorist watch list who got guns through other mechanisms. and so if we are serious about taking on terrorism, we have got to beat these guys where they live in the middle east and we've got to support the administration's efforts to do that supplement them. we've also got to make sure that these potential mass shooters don't get their hands on powerful weapon, especially when we know that they have connections to terrorist
sources. in order to do that, you've got to do both. you've got to put got to put those people a terrorist watch list on most hated from buying weapons and you also have to make sure that wherever that person is going to buy a weapon, that they are checked to make sure they aren't a terrorist. mr. president, i don't know how long i will laugh here, but i hope that i will be able to give time to our leadership to come together to find a path forward on legislation that would make this country safer and acknowledge that are bad laws are part of the story. not the whole story, the part of the story as to why the mass slaughter in this country. and that every single day with the memory of sandy hook and i know this is inconvenient for the leadership and colleagues on both sides of the aisle. i get that.
i must at this the time around here a team player. but i've had enough. i've had enough and i couldn't bring myself to come back to the senate this week and pretend that this is just business as usual. got to do something different. we've got to find a way to come together. i don't know how long this will take. i'm going to stand here and continue to vote the floor fully give time for colleagues to figure out a path forward to recognize that without changes in this nation's gun laws supported by the vast majority of americans, that the slaughter will continue. i see my colleague from connecticut rising. and would yield to my from connecticut for a question
without losing my right to the floor. >> thank you, mr. president. i have a question which i will preface but the context of that question. first to thank him for his leadership. we have worked together as a team on this issue of gun violence prevention and the fight against terrorism abroad and at home. i want to thank our other colleagues who will be part of this effort. it is very much a team effort that we bring to the floor today involving our friend and distinguished colleague from new jersey, senator booker, senator feinstein who has worked so hard on this budget nation before we arrived here, our colleague senator durbin who is it that now. so many of us who feel so deeply. i think for senator murphy and
myself, the deeply emotional experience of our land of the both the images and sounds and died of new tab when both of us were there and witnessed the aftermath of 20 beautiful children and six great educators guide down senselessly, needlessly in inactive unimaginable and unspeakable horror. this effort is more than about just words. this chamber is filled with word rhetoric is the business of the floor of the chamber. we are here today to seek action action has been too long delayed on preventing gun violence and
the kinds of acts of hatred and terror that happened in our land of. actions speak louder than words and the nation dissatisfaction. 90% of the american people want sensible commonsense measures like background checks to be adopted by the senate. there is no question that we are learning more in shock and horror about the details of orlando. he seems to have involved potentially insidious bigotry and hatred, a pernicious extremist ideology, perhaps inspired by isis and others abroad as well as very likely mental illness of some kind. but we know if it was an act of
terror and hatred that can be prevented by the kinds of measures that we are seeking today, specific measures preventing anybody who is too dangerous to fly in a plane commercially to buy a gun. no-fly, no gun. someone who is deemed to be a terrorist for deserving to be on a terrorist watch list should also be too dangerous to purchase the kinds of weapons that this individual was able to purchase. and to the fbi because its investigative authority, in effect, perhaps not legally, but in effect would have been strained in by this kind of
pressure, enabling anybody too dangerous to fly to also be stopped from buying a gun. this individual could have been stopped. not with any certainty can we say here, but it is that possibility realistically as they are and its investigations might have been continued and pursued had that law been in effect. and of course background checks are a means to enforce existing law to prevent categories of people already deemed too dangerous to buy a gun that can excel and word drug addict or others in those categories adopted literally years, decades ago with full support of the opponents of background checks may be in opposition now.
these measures complement each other and we know that we must fight terrorism abroad. we are at war against isis. we must pursue the war effect of late and aggressively and with that leslie. we must fight the homegrown terrorists either inspired or supported by isis. the look-alikes and found the legs that claim allegiance to isis, whether they are supported or inspired and for whom isis may claim responsibility. the defenses must be hard at home. that is part of what we are seeking to do here just as we fight abroad against terrorism that would reach our shores and threaten our security.
those measures must involve some military action and that military action will include intercepting intelligence and finances, their security, and for allies on the ground without massive numbers of u.s. troops to that effort. that war must be pursued even as we pursue the war against terror and hatred here at home. hardening our defenses requires this kind of action. and so, we must commit as a body to stop terrorists cap from continuing to threaten our security at home as well as implementing universal back rent check silicate pans out as -- guns out of the hands of people. we owe it not only to the memory for children and and educators
at sandy hook and the countless innocent people in the mass shootings is so preoccupied our attention, but also the daily shootings. 30,000 every year in downtown hartford and around connecticut. no places in the end. no one is safe so long as there is this threat. these measures are modest and they should be followed a others such as the repeal of action against domestic violence that comes in the kind of measured as offered, to repeal a path of my colleague from connecticut and i have championed the repeal of the immunity that is unique to the gun industry. a ban on illegal trafficking. metal health initiative, school safety steps.
these kinds of measures must be pursued as part of a strategy to combat gun violence and terrorism whether it is inspired by isis or an organization abroad or homegrown here. these measures are complementary and they must be pursued together. we have lived to blog and i have worked for decades since i first supported a ban on assault weapons in connecticut in the early made to 90s and then defended it in court after it was adopted. these measures of protection will require steps again those kinds of assault weapons that are truly weapons of destruction , designed to kill and maim human beings as quickly as possible as many people as
possible. those assault weapons, whether they were involved in orlando or not or any of those other examples such as aurora and virginia tech and sandy hook clearly presented threats and destruction there and we must take action. we must come together. we must unify as a nation to recognize a common thread other than decide ourselves that the type of demagoguery that's all too common in the wake of these tragedies. and so i asked my colleague a question and i look forward to continuing to ask questions and working within as part of this team today to continue to pressure that we feel must be brought to bear at this moment
of national crisis when a conscience that the nation can be of those, when we all owe it to ourselves to search our consciences and conviction and look ourselves in the mirror and look the nation in the high and say we must act. we cannot allow this moment in our history to pass without action. i asked my good friend and colleague, senator murphy if he can understand why this body had so long refused to recognize the will of the nation. why for so long the senate has been in effect complicit by its inaction in these kinds of killings, 30,000 a year. what about the influence of the gun lobby has made it so
powerful in exerting this hold over the united states congress and many of our state legislators. and what can we do to address this public health crisis? it is more than just an academic. it is a crisis courage of violence that we must counter. if 30,000 people died as a result of ebola or zika or some other disease amid the nation would be rightly outraged. there'd be drastic media. why not for this public health crisis in this epidemic that is not on the threat name, but deadly to our nation. >> i thank my colleagues for the question and i want to reiterate
the nature of our partnership that he underscored. he and i were there together in new tab in the firehouse hours after the shooting and was then probably hundreds of hours with the families and spend hundreds of hours together on this for arguing in our laws. i am so grateful to senator blumenthal, my friend, for being part of this effort today and he is right that long before i was a convert on this issue myself in the days following sandy hook, our senator has been citing the site for years. connecticut has some of the
strongest laws keeping guns out of the hands of criminals in the nation and it's not again without coincidence that her gun homicide rate is one of the lowest. i would say this to answer the gentleman's question and i know my colleague from new jersey is rising for a question as well. the united states is unique. we have written into our constitution by glitch about the intersection of private individuals and firearm. so we have to take seriously the words in that second amendment. but even in the controversial supreme court case, which overturned decades of precedent and held that there was indeed an individual right to own a firearm, the author of that decision, justice scalia said definitively that it's not an absolute right.
but the majority of the corpus holding individual right to a firearm, but not an individual right to any firearm under any conditions at any time he wanted. i think part of the problem to my colleague from connecticut is the gun lobby has managed to convince many members of the public that the second rate is unconditional when it is not. it allows for reasonable limitations on the right to own a weapon. what we know it is in states that have imposed is reasonable limitations, there are virus gun crimes, mass homicides. there is some truth to this mythology that the only way to stop the bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with the gun. it's the exact opposite. i think the gun lobby has been able to convince not just colleagues, but many fellow americans that the second
amendment is absolute in terms. they've also been successful in perpetuating this mythology that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns when in fact most of the time when you have a gun in your home it will be used to kill you, not to kill an intruder. the gentleman has another question. if he does i will yield. >> with an additional question and then our colleague from new jersey is here to ask questions. on the issue of second amendment rights, which senator murphy has just pointed out so well there is a second amendment right for law abiding people to buy and possess firearms.
but is it not true that in these measures we are talking about people who are dangerous and recognize to be dangerous. that is why they are on this list. there is also a right on their part to remove their names from that list if there is an error, a mistake of fact it has caused them to be on that list without good reason. and so, these measures that bring us to the floor today acknowledge and recognize the importance of the second amendment right and the potential impact of our opponent in their arguments against it same as a lack of due process. people will be denied the second amendment right is really mistaken. is that not correct?
>> i think the senator for making that clear. what we are suggesting here is the way we can come together in this body is found the simple premise that individuals with serious criminal records, individuals that have been deemed mentally incompetent or incapable shouldn't be able to buy firearms. that's it. that is what we are talking about here today into the dugout and an effective way that is as foolproof as possible. that has nothing to do with the limitation on an individual second amendment right. someone wants to buy a firearm and they're not a suspected terrorist and they have not been judged to be mentally incapable of making their own decisions, nothing will be proposed in this body will come together that would restrict that. i was at this point you to my
friend, senator booker from new jersey for a question without losing their right to the floor. >> i want to thank the senator from connecticut, chris murphy and the senior senator from connecticut as well. i do want to echo his spirit and the deference he gave to senator barbara mikulski and senator shelby. both of these two senators are people i respect a tremendous amount. in fact, i would go beyond that was senator shelby and senator michaels v. because i have deep affection for them both. they are great legislatures and they have produced legislation important to this country. i have a reference to their work. the attention to detail and the focus they have done preparing legislation to move forward. i ask for indulgence from them
to understand why i stand on the floor today preparing to ask a question to senator murphy. senator murphy and i last night talked about the tragedy that happened in florida. it was painful to both of us because we knew that this was not in any way an anomaly. that this was something happening but terrible, savage root teen is nation we are seeing mass killing after mass killing after mass killing after mass killing. understood that our nation right now as with other colleagues stands at a point of vulnerability to those who do us harm, those who seek to inflict terror, those who see to inflict grievous bodily harm.
those who seek to kill americans , that they have the ability to exploit loopholes in order to have access to weapons. and so i sat today preparation to ask a question to senator murphy, wanting to say that the motivation for his presence on the floor right now is that we just can't go on with business as usual in this body at a time where there is such continued grievous threat and vulnerability to work through, where you see again and again mass shooting after mass shooting. there is a saying that the only thing necessary for evil to be triumphant is for good people to
do nothing. i am grateful to senator murphy for his conviction in her conversations yesterday and into the night that we could not just go along as business as usual. we had had enough. but we had to push this body to come to some consensus about which the overwhelming majority of americans, indeed the overwhelming majority of nra members in this country believe we should put forth commonsense safety measures to protect against terrorists obtaining firearms to inflict the kind of carnage we have seen too often in this country and in others. please understand why many people imagine when terrorists
acted, more and more across the globe and unit suits are part in with assault weapons and firearms. and so we are here today to say enough. i cleared my entire day. this will not be business as usual. the clear bright evening event so i could stay on this for a support senator murphy as he pushes this body to come to some consensus in the way the country has always done, that they are, and since practical ways that we can protect this nation from terrorism. please understand the constitution of this country begins with this understanding that the primary responsibility of the nation is about the common defense. it says in our preamble that we the people of the united states in order to form a more perfect
union, establish justice, it insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity do ordain and establish this constitution of the united states of america, but in plain english. the constitution, which laid out are very form of government in which this body put in its cleared english at the beginning that we are to focus the common defense, the general wealth. and so, we cannot go on with business as usual in this body.
we must stand because this violence in our country will continue unless we take measures, commonsense measures to restrict the firearms going to known or suspected terrorists. i believe that this is a day that should not be business as usual. i believe that this should be a day that this body comes together like it has before, to put forward common sense safety measures to prevent terrorism. to paraphrase one of our great leaders, martin luther king said what we will have to repent for it in this day and age is not just that mr. alec word and violent actions of the dead people, but the appalling silence and inaction of the good
people. that is why i stand now to ask a question to the senator. that is why i will stay on this floor with my colleague from connecticut, support him in this effort, to move this body, to put forth the commonsense steps we should take to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of our enemy, to getting in the hands of terrorists, to getting in the hands of people who seek to wreak that kind of carnage that our nation tragically witnessed this past weekend. the senator from connecticut, my colleague and friend, went through the unforgettable list of mass shootings in new talent, 20 schoolchildren and six
employees killed. santa monica, five americans killed. in washington d.c. here at the naval yard, 12 people killed in fort hood. three people killed. .. people killed in a high school cafeteria. charleston, south carolina, nine people at a church killed. chattanooga, tennessee, at a military recruiting office, four marines and a naval petty officer killed. roseburg, oregon, ten