tv U.S. Senate Dems on Gun Policy CSPAN March 1, 2018 2:00am-2:53am EST
state of florida. i hope we can cover a number of, a number of aspects of this challenge, but i wanted to start, of course, with the victims who were killed at marjory stoneman douglas high school on february 14. i'll make reference to the individuals specifically more a little later. we're remembering them today. we're thinking of their families. certainly thinking as well of the surviving students and praying for the families, the victims and the survivors. i can't imagine what these families are dealing with right now just days after this tragedy. there are a lot of ways to express grief, a lot of ways to somehow articulate the loss.
i can't do it adequately, so i'll turn to, in this case a songwriter, a recording artist, bruce springsteen. we all know a good bit of his music, but years ago he wrote after 9/11, the lyrics to a song entitled "you're missing." of course it has application for those who have loved and lost, especially in this instance, so tragically. bruce springsteen's words go in part like this: the refrain of song is you're missing. at one point he says you're missing when i turn off the lights. you're missing when i close my eyes. and you're missing when i see the sun rise. giving us a sense of the loss all day, every day, all night, every night for that family member. he was speaking of course, reflecting upon the losses of
9/11. but of course anyone who's lost a loved one especially this way, in this case victims of murder in a school, must be thinking the same about what is missing in their lives and who, who is missing in their life, whether it's a son or a daughter or another loved one. gun violence in our country is all too common. it's almost hard to comprehend how common it's become. and unfortunately, it's all too common not just for our country, but especially for the younger generation. i won't provide lines of demarcation, but a lot of young people have known little else in their young lives other than reading about and seeing on television stories about gun violence or being in the mist or -- mirtsdz -- midst or act of
gun violence. hundreds of americans have been in schools -- have been at the site of gun violence in the last 20 years or so. what we ought to do here, in addition to giving speeches and pointing out where we should go, that's helpful, i guess, but the most important thing that the united states senate can do is to debate and vote, debate and vote. i would prefer that we debate one bill, one idea, and then vote on it. and then have another debate on another bill and vote on that and then do it again and again and see where we end up. i think most people here would be willing to do that even if we knew the result. even if you could prove to us that this particular measure will not pass or this one will be close or that one might pass. whatever the circumstance, we
should debate this issue. that's what this -- this institution is supposed to be all about, observe debate on the issues of the day. that's what i think, not only young people across the country, but people of all ages, are expecting of us. they expect us to debate and vote and keep trying to pass a measure that might reduce, or even substantially reduce, gun violence and violence in all other kinds of -- gun violence in our schools and gun violence in all other places in our society. of course we are talking about schools where students cannot be sure of a reasonable expectation of security. i can't imagine this as a student in all the years i was in school. we never even thought about this as a reality in our life.
never thought about it for one minute probably, someone my age. people who grew up in the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, didn't think about this. it's only been recently that students have had to think about or experience this kind of violence. i was a teacher for one year, i was a volunteer in north philadelphia. i taught for one year and knew i would only teach for a year for volunteer work. i never thought about this. i can't imagine what i would do even if i had some training in law enforcement or how to handle a weapon, i can't imagine how to defend a classroom against this kind of killer with a high-powered weapon where he can shoot bullets one after another into a classroom.
i can't even imagine it, and most people can't. schools are supposed to be places of teaching, of learning, of friendship, of competition, of engagement with all kinds of activities in a school. and, of course, schools are supposed to be places of growth where young people start a year or four years in high school, four years for high school, grade school longer, but it's a place to learn and grow. schools should not be places of fear and of trepidation and of uncertainty about what might happen in that school. that's not a -- that's not a common -- a common thought that students in years past had, that they would go to school and not be safe, that they would go to
school and potentially not come home. what's been heartening and inspiring in the aftermath of this tragedy is what young people have done in parkland, in the state of florida, and frankly, throughout the country. one of my colleagues the other day said something that made a lot of sense, made the statement that the senate is not worthy where the focus of attention is. this are senator said that the focus of attention is on these young people. they are leading. in this case congress might have to follow, but we should follow them. they are leading on this. they are showing us the way. young people are charting a new course on this issue and they are not going to go away. they are going to be voting for 50 more years or longer. they are not going away, and this issue won't go away. they are leading us and we should follow them. they and their families expect
us to act, than means debating and voting. it doesn't just mean giving speeches or expressing condolence. so many of us were -- were moved and inspired by their leadership. and we continue to be so inspired. so many of us were moved to tears and outpourings of emotion on all of these tragedies. i can remember, and i'll never forget, what i was thinking and responding to when it came to the newtown massacre, sandy hook elementary school. that, for me, was a seminole moment in my life in the united states senate. that tragedy informed how i would vote going forward. that tragedy moved me to take a different approach to these issues, and frankly, to vote a different way in this --
starting in 2012 and 2013 in the aftermath of that tragedy. the one question i had to ask myself at the time, and i think we're still asking ourselves, tragedy after tragedy, is there nothing -- is there nothing? is there no action that congress of the united states can take that will reduce the likelihood of gun violence, that will substantially reduce the likelihood of gun violence in a classroom, in a school? is there no action that the most powerful country in the history of the human race can take to reduce this likelihood? if our answer is no, then i guess that's the way some will vote and they will move on to other issues. i don't think many americans believe that. i think most americans believe there are actions we can take. it won't be one bill or one
amendment or one vote, but there are a series of steps that we can take that over time, and it will take too much time, but we have to start now to consider, debate, and vote on a number of measures. at the time of sandy hook, and i want to turn to my colleagues in just a moment -- i should say at the time after the sandy hook elementary tragedy, i was, as many of us were, looking, reading about these young children and the horror of that classroom. and we -- i just happened to tear out a newspaper page, in this case from "the wall street journal." these were printed in all kinds of newspapers across the country. you can't see it in the distance, but it's a yellow copy of that page. it's a "wall street journal" dated december 17, 2012, page
a6. the inscription above it is shattered lives, pictures of students, not every student, and pictures of teachers and others in the school as well, all victims of gun violence. i won't go through the stories, but these are powerful stories of their lives and we have to ask ourselves in the aftermath of that kind of a tragedy, just like the most recent tragedy, are we going to celebrate their lives and tell the world how -- how much they contributed to the life of america but then at -- in the same breath say, but we have to move on to another issue? i don't think that's an american approach. i don't think that's the approach of a great nation, of a great people. when we're at our best, we tackle problems. we know that it will take a long time. we know it will take a number of votes and a number of actions, but we've got to begin, and i think we should begin in this
instance. so i won't -- i'm not going to go through all the names, but -- or all of the names from every tragedy, of course, but let me read the first names of the -- of the victims of parkland, and i know the senior senator from florida, because of his concern for these victims and their families and his knowledge of his home state will go into even more detail. but i'll just read first names. and we should, as we're reading them, think about, what can we do? what should we do as a people? or should we do what happened too many other times and move on? alisa, scott, martin, nicholas, erin, jamie, chris, luke, kara, gina, joclin, allana, nieto,
helena, alex, carmen, and peter. 17 individuals who are missing now in the lives of their families, missing from what their classmates are experiencing every day, missing from the lives of those classmates, sometimes their best friend, sometimes their brother -- in the family contacts the brother or the sister or the son or the daughter. so as they -- as the songwriter says, those 17 are missing when they shut out the lights, they are missing when they close their eyes at night, and they are missing when they see the sunrise, and we have an obligation, we are dutybound as an institution, but maybe more importantly as a people to take action. the time is now, maybe not to
finish action, but the time is now to take action. mr. president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, as the senator from pennsylvania is leaving, those are the people whose names he just read. and that's why i'm here to tell you that teachers, students, and staff at marjory stoneman douglas high school returned to school for the first time since that shooting two weeks ago. some were ready, some that returned were scared, some didn't go back. they are going to a different school. what happened at stoneman douglas high school two weeks ago should never happen anywhere
in this country ever -- ever, never again. look at those faces. so full of promise. here's the coach. he saved some of the kids' lives. he jumped in front of it. another adult that tried to save lives, another adult that tried to save lives. it shouldn't happen in a school, it shouldn't happen in a nightclub like pulse, it shouldn't happen in an airport or a church or an outdoor concert. it shouldn't happen. so why does it? why does this keep happening over and over again? well, i'm going to tell you why.
it's because of us. it's because all 100 members of this u.s. senate and all 435 members down the hallway in the house of representatives, it's our refusal to act. it's our failure to convince one another that there are some things that should be done, done regardless of party publics or how it polls or what the special interests want. it ought to be done simply because it's the right thing to do. so what about a commonsense approach like a background check every time somebody buys a gun, a comprehensive or universal background check that would
expand into if there's a restraining order or how about if there's a mental problem other than just an adjudicated mental order? how about the terrorist watch list? if you're on that list you can't get on an airplane because you're suspected to be a terrorist. why should they be able to buy a gun? or how about if you've been on the terrorist watch list and are no longer, that would have caught the shooter in orlando because omar matine had been on the terrorist watch list, was no longer when he bought that mcx -- m.c.x. and mowed down those people.
it's it's our failure to convince one another that there are some things that should be done. so if you take the commonsense part of requiring a background check, it's the right thing to do. banning the military assault rifles, that's the right thing to do. now, people get confused. there's a difference between a semiautomatic rifle and an assault rifle. ever since i was a little boy, i had a semiautomatic .22 rifle with a clip. that's not an assault weapon. even a bullet coming from a handgun as reported by one of the trauma surgeons that tended to some of the victims in
broward county points out that a handgun bullet will go in and come out through a victim the same size as it went in, and if it goes through an organ like the liver, they can save that person, but that's in contrast to an assault rifle weapon, a bullet that has three times the speed of a handgun bullet, that has three times the energy when it hits the victim, so that if it goes into an organ such as the liver, it doesn't go through like a handgun bullet. it pulverizes the liver, and when it comes out on the other side of the body, it's as big as an orange. that's what an assault rifle is.
listen to the trauma surgeons. they'll tell you. well, we can take up commonsense legislation right now and enact the simple common sense measures to make our community safer and help prevent another mass tragedy, but unfortunately i think it's going to be very difficult. and even in the face of for weeks now, parents, students, teachers across this country have been calling for action, and we have done nothing. we have seen an entire community turn its grief and its outrage into a massive call for change, and we have done nothing. we have seen across this country
gun owners destroy their own assault weapons. we have seen major corporations distance themselves from the discounts from groups like the n.r.a., and we have seen private companies take it upon themselves to stop selling these weapons of war announced just today. dick's supporting goods. they're not going to sell ar-15's again. and they're not going to do it, not because they were told to, not because congress passed a law, but because it was the right thing to do. so if congress fails to act now, when will we act? if these brave young students who lost their fellow students
and faculty, if they aren't enough to break through the brock here in congress, what is it going to take? if this tragedy doesn't spur us to act and lead us to change, what will? when will enough finally be enough? so i would say to my colleagues the time to act is now. let's don't let what happened at marjory stoneman douglas high fade into a memory like so many other tragedies. let's take this tragedy and make it a pivotal moment in our nation's history. let's don't have to go through these massacres again. let's let this be the last one. let's come together as a senate and do what needs to be done. let's do what so many before us
have been unable to do. let's take action. let this massacre be the last massacre. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i appreciate the senior senator from florida and the grief that he represents through the state coming to the floor and speaking about the lives that were lost and the clarion call for us to act. i come to the floor today because two weeks ago, a weapon of mass murder was once again used to commit mass murder in an american school.
and once again, our hearts are heavy with a grief that has become too routine. and once again, the gun lobby says that we are powerless to do anything about it. but this time feels different. that's because the students of marjory stoneman douglas high school have started a movement to turn once again into never again. unfortunately, too many of my colleagues act as if mass shootings are inevitable when in reality they are preventable, and the american people are sick and tired of it. that's why they have been so inspired by these students from parkland. i saw it with my own eyes last sunday. a few of the stoneman douglas survivors came to visit new jersey, and my constituents came
out in droves to support them. together with the jewish federation of greater metro west and moms demand action, we rallied well over 2,000 people in support of their never again movement. now, what's remarkably refreshing about these students is that they are not yet jaded by the ways of washington. they have spent their lives practicing active shooter drills. they have grown up being told that mass shootings are just a fact of life. but they know that they deserve better. after being thrust into a tragedy, they have turned their mourning into a movement. by speaking out, the students of parkland have pricked the conscience of this country, and the american people are answering their call to action. we see at rallies across the
country calling for tougher, smarter commonsense gun safety laws. we see it in students across america organizing the march for our lives. and we see it in corporate america. already companies like united airlines have parted ways with the n.r.a. and retailers like dick's sporting goods have announced they will take ar-15's off their shelves and stop selling guns to teenagers. as americans take action, the question is whether congress will do the same. far too many of my colleagues still fear a backlash from the n.r.a. that's why after las vegas, they refused to ban the bump stocks that make mass shootings more deadly. that's why after sandy hook, they refused to pass tougher background checks. that's why after orlando, they refused to even consider my own
bill to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines. high-capacity magazines are designed for one thing and one thing only -- high-capacity killing. they are the grim hallmark of mass shootings in america linking parkland to newtown and las vegas to san bernadino and aurora to orlando. certainly, i have been encouraged to hear some of my colleagues say they may consider supporting limits on magazine sizes now. now, i have the legislation here that i introduced months ago to do just that, the keep america safe act is narrowly focused. it doesn't infringe on anyone's right to bear arms, and i challenge all of my colleagues to sign on. in my view, however, we must do more than ban high-capacity magazines. i for one voted for the assault weapons ban of 1994 when i was
in the house of representatives, and i'm a cosponsor of the bill to reinstate it today. these weapons have no place in civilian society. they are not designed for self-defense. they are modeled after weapons our soldiers used on the battlefield. but if we're going to get anywhere, we must stop letting the n.r.a. set the agenda here in washington. it's amazing to me that some of my colleagues are effectively holding gun safety legislation hostage until they can pass their n.r.a.-backed concealed carry bill. now, i have spent a lot of time hearing from my colleagues, particularly on the other side of the aisle, talk about state rights, state rights. well, apparently new jersey's right to enforce our own gun law doesn't count when it comes to states' rights.
our state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and it's no coincidence that we have the fifth lowest rate of gun deaths in the nation. we want to keep it that way. but this bill hot off the n.r.a.'s wish list would let concealed carry permit holders from states with looser standards bring their weapons to new jersey. look, at the end of the day, the n.r.a. has five million or six million members. we are a nation of 360-plus million people. while millions of gun owners believe in the second amendment, poll after poll tells us they also believe in universal background checks and commonsense gun laws. it's time we call out those who spout the same old n.r.a. talking points such as guns don't kill people, people kill
people. well, that's why we don't run background checks on guns. we run them on people. the n.r.a. would have us believe that all we need to do is to have comprehensive background checks when in reality what we need are universal background checks. this means requiring background checks for all private sales and transfers and online sales on the internet. why should you be able to buy with the click of a mouse a significant weapon without ever going through a background check? likewise, they say it's time for teachers to be armed and our schools to be, quote-unquote, hardened. well, i haven't met many teachers who want to be charged with assessing threats and taking lives in front of their own students. let's be serious. arming teachers wouldn't stop the next las vegas. only we can do that by passing sensible, reasonable gun safety measures that limit the sale of
deadly weapons and keep guns out of the wrong hands. after running for their lives on february 14, the students of stoneman douglas will march for their lives on march 24. it's inspiring to see that despite all the dysfunction in washington, young americans still believe in their power to make change. how tragic would it be if we in congress proved them wrong and once again let business as usual in washington prevent us from taking action to save lives? for my part, that's not going to happen. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. booker: thank you very much. i appreciate the remarks of my senior senator from new jersey. his passion, his commitment to this issue, not just now, not just after this mass shooting, but he has been consistently fighting for gun safety, commonsense gun safety for years, and i'm grateful for his
leadership as my senior senator. it's now been two weeks since a gunman took the lives of 17 children, teachers, and school administrators in parkland, florida. in the days and weeks since, we have seen young people from that community lead a movement for change that is growing in our country, standing up to special interests, standing up to the small minority of folks who seem to want to let the status quo continue. standing up to the n.r.a. and the gun industry. and making clear the fierce urgency of now, of this moment, of this day. these young people are showing what true courage is. they're showing it at a time of great grief and great paing in their lives -- pain in their lives. and i know what they are fighting for. it's not a fringe issue. i know what they're fighting for. it's not representative of some small minority. they're fighting for the majority of americans who agree with them.
the majority of americans who want commonsense gun safety in america. both folks who own guns and those who don't want background checks for all gun buyers, including those between private dealers at gun shows. the majority of americans don't want people who are suspected terrorists to be able to go to a gun show and go to a private seller and fill up with a trunk full of weapons. the majority of americans know that we should be keeping people with a history of domestic violence from getting their hands on a gun. the majority of americans want to choke the pipeline of illegal guns that are flooding in to american communities from sea to shining sea, from great lakes to the gulf coast. and we know the majority of americans, the overwhelming majority of americans know that we can do more to prevent gun violence. sure, we can't stop everyone,
but we can do things that will reduce the violence, reduce the number of deaths, save lives. these are commonsense things that the majority of americans, gun owners, nongun owners, republicans and democrats, these are majority of americans who support these policies that are proven. for example, we know that it's true in states like connecticut that instituted commonsense background checks, they saw firearm homicides drop by 20%. and states that implement laws blocking perpetrators of domestic violence see significantly -- upwards of 10% reduction of homicides by people's intimate partners. in 2009- 2009-2013, states saw r gun deaths per capita than states that didn't. this is fact.
we know that commonsense gun safety supported by over 80% of gun owners, over 90% of americans will save lives. dr. king once said and i'm paraphrasing here, that morality kind be legislated but behavior can be regulated. that the law can't make someone love me but it can stop them from lynching me, that the law can't change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. we know we have the power to make the change. now, this is no panacea. these ideas won't solve all the problems, but they can make a difference and they can save lives. and the time to act is right now. to not act is to be complicit in the continued violence, levels of violence in our community. every day that passes with not -- no action, every single day, we see on average 96 americans in this country killed by a gun,
including children. every day that we do not act in this body to do something, dozens and dozens of our american fellow citizens who are dying due to gun violence, much of it preventable. too many families in this country, too many fellow americans know the pain and the grief and the agony of what we see in the faces of the children from parkland. gun violence isn't just manifested in uniquely horrifying mass shootings in our schools or churches or movie theaters. it's a pervasive, everyday public health epidemic. it is an everyday reality for americans across the country. it is an everyday reality for women in america. 50 women every single month are shot to death by intimate partners in this country making the united states the most dangerous country in the developed world when it comes to
gun violence against women. we know that over half of all women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a gun. and we know that when a gun is involved in a situation of domestic violence, a woman is five times more likely to be killed. we can do something to lower this kind of carnage. gun violence is an everyday reality for children and young people in this country. on the average day in america, seven children and teens will be killed with a gun and 40 more children will be shot and survive, often being crippled, severely wounded costing american taxpayers often for their health care millions of dollars. we can lower this rate of carnage. gun violence is an everyday reality for people living in cities like where i live or in the last year i've had a shooting on my block.
we know that no black americans living in al city or urban area -- in a city or urban area in this country, there are -- they're almost 500 times more likely to be killed by gun violence than they are by terrorism. this is an urgent problem. it is an everyday problem. this is pressing on ourselves and every day we conts, inaction -- we don't, inaction will cost lives. since the tragedy in parkland, in new jersey alone we see children, young people, the elderly, women, black, white americans killed by gun violence. i have a stack of examples of this right here. news reports of the violence in my state. one week ago it was a 10-year-old boy, uvoni marino was killed with a gun and his mother was wounded in asbury park, new jersey.
on february 20, an elderly man killed his wife, domestic violence, killed her with a gun and then taking his own life as a suicide. just six days ago a teenager in my city of newark, new jersey, ismael anthony was killed with a gun. every single day we do not act, dozens and dozens of americans are killed. look at this chart. you can't even read the font. look at these american citizens, young people, old people, black people, white people, men, women, republicans, democrats. look at this chart. we know that right now in the past two weeks since the tragedy, according to the gun violence archive which compiled this list on news reports, 477 americans have been killed with a gun. in the past two weeks alone, 477
american citizens. this government was formed with a purpose. it says clearly in our founding documents for the common defense, two weeks, 477 people who we did not defend, 477 people who we could have done more to save, 477 people in the two weeks since parkland. and we have a nation that speaks to the purpose of ensuring life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. they lost their lives. and so we may not have the power to stop all gun violence. but when gun owners and nongun owners, republicans and democrats, when our nation as a whole agrees with a chorus of
consent that we should do things like commonsense background checks, our inaction, unwillingness to do the will of the people is costly not just to the integrity of this body, not just for the purpose of this body, but it is costly in the most grievous of ways every day. every day dozens die, two weeks, 477. we must do better. we can do better. with the help of god almighty, we will. mr. president, i yield. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. hassan: thank you, mr. president. i want to thank my colleagues for their words on this difficult, challenging topic.
mr. president, on this day two weeks ago, the parkland, florida, community took 17 bullets to the heart as cameron, a junior at marjory stoneman douglas high school so devastatingly put it. over the past years the epidemic of gun violence has touched every as pet of american life -- every aspect of american life. from schools and churches to concerts, nightclubs, and movie theaters, in homes and in the workplace. after each of these tragedies we say yu enough is enough yet time and again congress fails to take action and the discussion fades until this deadly cycle once again repeats itself. but, mr. president, we cannot allow this vicious cycle to
continue. like many americans, i've been inspired and touched by the bravery of the students of stoneman douglas and by their determination to create from this tragedy a legacy of positive change. they are looking to us to help ensure they are the last students who suffer through a mass shooting. they will hold us accountable as they should. i've been inspired by students like sam who said he doesn't feel safe in his own country. and powerfully asked that the white house, quote, how did we not stop this after columbine,
after sandy hook? and emma who has been calling out elected officials for the excuses they make for putting the priorities of the gun lobby ahead of the safety and well-being of their constituen constituents. emma and her classmates rightly have called these excuses, quote, b-s. mr. president, we must actually listen to these students, and we must act to protect them and all of our children. people across new hampshire own guns for hunting, sport, and protection. new hampshire has a long tradition of responsible gun ownership that i respect and that i am committed to upholding. but i also know that the people in new hampshire do not want dangerous weapons in the wrong
hands. it's our job to keep our citizens safe and we owe it to the students and survivors who are speaking out t, to those who have lost, we have lost to tragic violence and to their families and loved ones to come together and make our communities safer. the level of gun violence in america is a public health crisis that is unique to our nation. and like all public health challenges, there are actions we can take to mitigate harm and save lives. we can put in place responsible, commonsense policies that will do just that. to start, mr. president, we know that the shooter in parkland displayed warning signs that if properly heeded and addressed, may have prevented the incident, the massacre, but when law enforcement was called because
of these warning signs, it's not clear that they had tools that would have allowed them to confiscate the shooter's weapons. so one of the things we must do is ensure that every state has what are known as red flag laws, laws which allow courts to issue time-limited restraining order, to restrict access to firearms when there is evidence that an individual is planning to harm themselves or others. it is also long past time that we improve our background check system to close loopholes and ensure that people who are already legally barred from owning guns cannot easily access them, a step that we know is supported by the vast majority of americans. studies have shown a correlation between gun violence and people with a history of domestic violence. we must close loopholes that enable domestic abusers to
access guns. additionally, mr. president, for too long the centers for disease control have been barred from conducting public health research on gun violence. we must change that. finally, from banning the use of bump stocks to raising the purchasing age of semiautomatic weapons to 21, we must look at responsible steps to reduce access to deadly weapons of war that fire at high rates and inflict massive harm. mr. president, no one gun safety measure is perfect and no gun safety measure will stop every act of gun violence, but that should not stop us from taking action. after all, we take public health measures all the time that don't prevent all disease, but vastly
reduce the incidents of it. in a country with a government of, by, and for the people, it is simply an outrage to suggest that there is nothing that people who govern themselves can do to ensure that their gun safety laws evolve as firearm technology progresses. i also refuse to accept the notion that we cannot pass any law to address gun safety because it is too hard or the challenges are too insurmountable. that has not stopped our nation before, and it shouldn't now. students in parkland and young people across the country are speaking out and making clear that they don't want to live this way. they don't want the horror that they experienced to be inflicted
on more of their peers. these young voices are speaking up and sparking a conversation that has been absent or has been pushed to the wayside for far too long. it's up to us to meet them in this moment. the purpose of self-government is to make sure that we all do in fact feel safe and valued and that we each have a chance to build a life for ourselves. let's take action to give all of our citizens those opportunities and keep our people safe from senseless acts of gun violence. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.