tv U.S. Senate Sens. Gillibrand and Cornyn on Texas Mass Shooting CSPAN November 7, 2017 9:36am-10:01am EST
>> made her statement to the world what we would do if we had that part of the world in 1954. we said we would stand with those people in the face of common danger and the time came when we had to put up or shut up and we put up and were there. >> 50 years later. this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3. >> kirsten gillibrand american majority with john corning of texas speak about the mass shooting sunday in southern land, texas. this is 20 minutes. >> mr. president, rest to speak about the mass shooting in texas yesterday. the latest mass shooting in what seems like a never ending gun violence in our country. my heart breaks for the vic dems
and their families and for the community and taxes. we are still gathering facts about a specific crime. we are still learning about what happened, how this merger was able to purchase the gun, whatever his twisted rationale was for walking into a house of worship in a small town and slaughtering more than 20 people, including young children with assault weapons. her incredible law enforcement officials are working hard to answer all of that. the most important fact of all is something we are at e-mail. another case where someone on american soilds in who had absolutely no business getting his hands on a weapon of war was able to get one and use it to commit heinous mass murderer. of the five worst mass shootings, three of them have occurred in the past 17 months. think about that.
nearly 7% of the population was slaughtered just because they went to church that day. the weapon he used was military weapon design for a war zone, but this was not a war zone. it was a church. singing and praying and favoring life. i reject the notion that it is too soon to act. if not now, then win. we should ban assault weapons and bump stocks today. people who don't want an honest conversation say we need tol wait. but for howai long? we wait and we will see evil rear its ugly head over and over again. we have enough information and try to keep our our constituents safe from gune violence. we have enough information before yesterday to act. what congress does not have is the political will to act.
my friends come and this must change. thoughts and prayers are not going to stop the next mass shooting. merely talking about something to obtain guns isn't going to stop the next arrange person with hate in their sole from committing yet another mass murder. it does not mean they have to getting shot in the cities andva desire to go to music festival in las vegas for a night club in orlando or an elementary school in newton. after each of these horrific acts of violence, what happens here in congress? nothing. more than a month after las vegas, we still can't even
topple the most obvious fix is like banning bump stocks. americans are being slaughtered and congress is refusing to fix that. weues rightly say average arrand kind man who wants to kill innocent men, women and children, just like our other criminal laws with every instance of crime. there is no excuse for notta evn trying. everyone in this chamber knows that a shooting in the church is something that should never happen in thisme country. mr. president, you would agreeha with that. everyone who served in this chamber would agree with that. so then why are we doing anything to stop the violence? why are we making it harder for a crazed, evil person to get their hands on a weapon of war?
it w makes me wonder what our colleagues are waiting for. are they waiting ford the nra to come in and gives them cover and tell them it's okay to act? are they waiting for the nra to give them permission? assault rifles are bump stocks should be banned, it would be done tomorrow. that is the sad truth that this place. but we know the nra won't say that because they want to keep selling these weapons of war to anyone willing to buy them, no matter how unsafe it makes it for the rest of us. the enormous pressure to the nra industry and has ignored and non-gun owners alike that support commonsense members they keep americans safe. these mass slaughters continue
and congress has done nothing. absolutely nothing. to me, this is a monumental failure of leadership and it's no wonder gun violence and mass shootings have been here the entire race of any other country in the entire world. it has to change. it's not enough to solve the individual crimes after the fact. we have to take meaningful, real action to prevent the next one. this is what has to happen here at mr. president, to those who doubt the congress can actually get something done, we already know depending on the motivation, depending on who congress is actually listening to, congress is fully capable of enacting change. instead as refusing to do anything which is what is happening right now, fire more
congress listens to the special interest instead of the people who actually allege them to keep them safe. listen to this shameful state of our gun laws now and tell me if you ain't these laws came about because families in our states demanded them. or was it because the nra demanded then? congress has turned his back on strengthening n and expanding or national background check system. we should be fixing the hole in the system, whatever necessary, not just shrugging our shoulders and saying there is nothing that can be done. who do you think demanded that we don'tou fix the background system with their families in your state or theit nra. congress refuses to be on high magazine, high-capacity magazines which are literally made for war and buy a dozen of rounds without having to stop and reload.
who do you think demanded that? families are the nra? congress refuses to an assault weapon which are designed for war, toly kill as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible, but are given different names so they can be sold in a civilian world. who do you think demanded that? our families are the nra? congress is on the verge of passing legislation to make it easier. right now for killers to buy suppressors known by many about this island there is, to make it harder for police to do their job and catch violent criminals. and who do you think demanded that? certainly not police. not our family. nra. congress is dragging its feet on banning bump stocks. the inexpensive piece of equipment the killer in las vegas used for the already
powerful armed an automatic weapon with hundreds of rounds per minute. you think demanded that? families are the nra? this february, congress overturned a rule that had prevented people so incapacitated they could no longer handle their own finances from getting their hands on a gun. who do you think demanded that? families of the nra. congress even went so far as to pass a law that blocks the center for disease control for a new study in, from studying the issue ofs gun death the way they're allowed to study any other cause of death in this country. why? they tend to hide the overwhelming data that keeping guns out of thecr hands of dangerous people would decrease gunou crimes. who do you think demanded that? that congress to press the fact of the alarming data about gun
violence? do you think it was families are the nra? mr. president, this really has to change. congress needs to start protecting the people that we were there toed represent. their voices matter and it really does matter who you are listening to. their voices matter and they must be heard. we must listen and enact change and actually help to keep our state safer from gun violence. we are the ones that need to act. we can't ignore our responsibility to keep our country safe from this kind of violence and to all the people who are watching us right now, i would say this. after all of these massacres, pay attention to what your elected leaders are saying.
pay attention to what they are actually doing. watch how they react. look closely how they use their time here. listen to what they say or don't say. after these mass shootings, did they tell you that we were going to bow our heads for a moment of silence and leave it there? or did they tell you that we were going to fight with every bitrg of energy to actually fix these broken gun laws that protect american citizens? democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand action. i urge everyone listening today to demand the action, to hold electionss leaders accountable and to ask them to pass meaningful gun reform now.
i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> senator from texas. >> mr. president, today we join the stunt community of southerland springs, texas, small town near san antonio in mourning the loss of too many innocent lives, one innocent life is too many. i lifted the impassioned comments of our colleague from new york, asking us to do something. but i actually think it is important that we understand exactly what did happen and once
the fog of this terrible tragic event lives, after the law enforcement agencies can do the appropriate investigation, then i think it is appropriate for us to say what could we do consistent withta the constitutn and laws of the united states? what could we do to make something like this less likely? i wish i was optimistic that there was some magic wand we could wave and prevent terrible tragedies like this, but in a free and open society, unfortunately we don't have that magic wand. on the other hand, we have arrived at a i consensus, i thi, in this country, background checks, for example, are appropriate for people suffering from mental illness, people who committed previous felonies. those people were banned from possessing or purchasing
firearms and there is a consensus that they should be. there are some early reports and began to fall to the terrible is not yet listed and we need clarity in order to know what did and did not have been and where we might have -- might be able to act to make a difference. there's some indication by some news reports that this individual had committed domestic violence and had been good at bat by a court-martial. that too would likely have been a disqualifying factor in his ability to possess firearms. we need to know exactly what the facts are. i appreciate the passion from new york. we are all stunned by what happened, but i think the irrational people, we ought to want to know exactly what the
facts are before we decide what the best course of action might be. it may be that like what we saw a few years back and virginia tech, an individual who had previously been adjudicated mentally ill, that determination, that judgment was not entered into the national background check system by the fbi and it wasn't because of a failure of communication between the state and federal authorities he was able to purchase a firearm when he was legally disqualified from being able to do so. so those are the sorts of things that we could work together on. i know for example after the terrible shooting in las vegas i was shocked like so many others worry that somebody could essentially bypass thest prohibition against a semi
automatic weapon into an automatic weapon by the use of the so-called bump stop. somebody who enjoys the outdoors and is a hunter and enjoys recreational shooting, i can tell you i know of no sportsman, no hunter who uses a bump stop. it seems to be the sole purpose of this is to bypass the prohibition about turning semi automatic weapons into automatic weapons and that is something i hope the senate judiciary committee will continue to look into and to determine whether or not the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms ought to extend the authority to regulate the so-called bump stocks back when president obama was president of the united states, bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms did not believe they had the authority, as several of us have written to them asking
them to clarify just where they think they have authority and where f they think they need additional authorities so they can work with and to prevent occurring in the future. yesterday we all receive news of commissioners in the first baptist church in the southerland springs, texas, killing 26 people duringhu the sunday morning church service. i can't imagine a more vulnerablele time. people sitting in the pews that there had bowed and eyes closed and then being exposed to this mad man unleashing death in the house of worship. the victims included young children and a pregnant woman among others. all of them aged eight teen to
72. all of them nowof gone. all 26. thema small community and an entire nation must now bind its wounds as we mournad the death d meet the face of evil with moral clarity and a newfound determination to send the violence that continues to plague the united states of america. we sought in new york's somebody somebody used a vehicle, a car to bow down people and kill people in an act of terrorism. we are vulnerable in so many ways because we are an open society. but unfortunately, these sorts of tragedies seem to come back to us time and time again and we in texas are not immune. knife attack at the university of texas in austin earlier this year. remember the shooting of police
officers in downtown dallas last year. five police officers perished in the fort hood in 2009. each of these events have been shocking. inexplicable and certainly reprehensible. but this tragedy may be the worst of all. this event occurred in a house of worship takes it all the more grotesque and despicable. hymns of praise were silenced and those led to cries for help. the shooting in southerland springs has been called the history. perhaps better understood by one man whose mother and father were both killed yesterday. he was sitting on the curb
outside the emergency room at, memorial medical center, a town nearby, shaken to the core he called the events yesterday at unimaginable. it is impossible to comprehend what it must have felt like to wake up this morning in southerland springs, a small tight knit rural community, roughly 35 miles southeast of san antonio. so many neighbors lost. the sound of yesterday's gun fire and silence still ringing in the air. one of the people who lost their life was crystal whole column, who died with her u unborn child and several relatives. another was annabel pomeroy, a shy 14-year-old girl whose uncle described her as an angel in the
flash. we know thankfully that two good samaritans turned on and pursued the shooter and may have prevented this nightmare from last even longer and we are grateful for the heroism and quick decisive action of these two men. we know that about 20 injured remain in hospitals including a 5-year-old. writer lynn ward who was shot at all times. yesterday i spoke with texas governor greg abbott and will send county and offered not only my condolences but unequivocal in complete support. the bloody scene inside verse back this was terrific, but the
response by the tragedy was instantaneous. firstnd responders from the surrounding area as well as state and federal officials inundated southerland springs with logistical resources and personnel, offering their love and compassionas as well, a prod display of what i often see, which is an attitude that being a texan doesn't describe just where you are from. it describes who your family is. today, mr. president, i joined the sheriff as well as governor abbott, henry cuellar whose congressional district this tragedy occurred, my colleague in the senate, senator cruz and so many other and asking god for healing and for understanding. we know the investigation into exactly what happened and why is ongoing and it is important that
we allow this investigation to be completed so we can know exactly what happened and exactly what we might be able to do to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. i hope the texans who call southerland springs and first baptist church home will soon have some answers. i send my thoughts and prayers to those who lost parents and children send friends and relatives in this outrageous and inhuman act. i hope each of us will pledge to be a light in the darkness in the families whose lives are forever changed by this atrocity, let us provide a strong shoulder of support. mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. >> the u.s. senate is about to
trade for him. stephen and her angle is up to be assistant attorney general and john gibbons for the chief investment officer at the pentagon. both nominations are scheduled for noon eastern today. said that lawmakers will take a break between 1230 and 2:00 eastern to attend a caucus lunches. life to the senate floor here on c-span2. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, our father, help us this day to love and serve one another in ways that honor your name. may our lawmakers manifest