tv U.S. Senate Senate Democrats on Guns Part 1 CSPAN September 18, 2019 1:45am-2:24am EDT
all across our country and thank you to senator murphy for organizing this important action this evening. back to school bring such great memories of my own children of my son and daughter i remember them packing crayons and paper in their backpacks going off to meet their new teachers and catch up with friends to talk about what they did during the summer. it is always such an exciting time of year for them. unfortunately, it is not the same now for their children, my grandchildren. i have two grandsons and a granddaughter that are now in school. the first new question that was asked when buying their backpacks was do you want a
bulletproof backpack? do you want a bulletproof backpack? that was one of the questions to buy their backpacks for school.ee i also think of two weeks ago when my youngest grandson who was in school started second grade. my daughter and i were talking about the fact in addition to all of the excitementtroun and energy around starting school there were changes. i knew front door and bulletproof windows and a new way to get into the school of walking in and having to stop and buzz and go through another door and all the changes t going into reconfiguring the school so you cannot walk directly into classrooms.to it is important for the school to do that but i'm sure what
they rather would have been doing is planning music and art classes and teachers and technology for the children in that elementary school rather than bulletproof windows and safety doors to stop the gunmen from getting into the school. tamericans have learned whether a school or store or church or country music festival sitting on your front porch or a movie theater no place is safe. thinks to the epidemic of gun violence even a child playing football in his own backyard or doing her homework at the kitchen table in her own home can become a target of a stray orbullet.
democrats report show that 100 americans are killed by guns every single day. one hundred people every single day. that's enough to fill every desk in fact since the house passed and those that were killed by gun violence. 12000, 322 died by using a gun and 808 children and those that were killed by firearms. those are the numbers we are talking about people's lives.
they have names like judy and barbara and mary jo and tyler these six people were killed and 2016 when a driver went on a shooting spree in michigan. to other people were wounded. watching the car come toward her saw the driver pull out a handgun she told her daughters to run and still tried to shield them. once she knew my - - new she tried to get away but they times only if she laid on the ground to play dead did the bullet sto stop.
broken bodies, grieving communities and deadods that continued across this country every single day and it has to stop. people expect the senate to do its job and take action to make their life better and safer. unfortunatelyy. 202 days ago and to require a background check. >> that wouldn't stop the shooter who killed and then wounded 25. >> i wonder 301 mass avenue
lives could have been saved? requiring him is not only controversiall but in fact it is what americans are at one - - askingw, for. and my whole family is as well in hunting and all of the great outdoor sports. i live with faith and legal ownership those that believe the should get a background on - - again with no background check. 90 percent common sense and the rest sits on mcconnell's
as mcconnell and trump wait for big money and special interest, americans are dying. it is time to act. the beginning of school should be something that people look forward to, not fear. next year high school students will have a brand-new high school in a brand-new building in michigan with ten science classrooms and a drafting lab with a three d printer in an art studio complete with pottery it will also feature hallways to reduce a shooter site line with cricket hallways and shatterproof class in places for students to hide in the classroom.
it is great that the school district is investing in the safety of its students but it is also heartbreaking they have to do so. students should be focused on next week's math test or tomorrow night's football game. not where they conduct can cover to take cover in their school it is time majority leader mcconnell, what are you waiting for? i yield the floor. so speaking out on the issue of gun safety the one thing
and one who had public school in brooklyn new york. she is a sweet portland - - a sweetheart but she told her mom and dad last year that the bet we told what to do if somebody shows up with a hallway in the gun and then says stay way from the windows. so to receive that kind of warning breaks my heart. why? does anyone really honestly believe when that amendment was written they envision the fear to go through the children who aftercu connecticut worried the shooter will come in with a semi automaticmi
weapon and killed dozens of kids? that is the reality of gun violence today. that's one that breaks my heart. over the past few weeks we have been blocked by a mass shootings and 38 victims dad hundreds more injured. so far there has been 300 mass shootings are more than four people were shot. this is in addition to the daily toll of suicides and accidents to kill 40000 americans per year. every week i see the grim statistics of those killed and wounded in my home state of illinois in the past weekend
just this past weekend in chicago eight people were killed and 19 more injured by gunfire. gun violence is an epidemic in america and affects communities large and small. but those who have been traumatized millions ofha americans now live in fear when they send their kids are great kids off ton school, go to a movie theater or concert or church or even sitting on their front porch, this is unacceptable. america is better than this although many people of this great nation who were doing all they can with community leaders and teachers and what are we doing in the united states senate? nothing. no single reform can be every shooting that we make it easy for felons making it more
difficult to get their hands on the guns. it would significantly reduce shootings and save lives. the 20 percent of gun so it turns out that last year 100 were ignorant to try and would then were disqualified but yet but the gun show in internet loopholes - - problems that haunt usey today. they make sales without even checking the gunmen bought his
without a background check because he previously failed. that's a gap that needs to be closed in poland's one --dash polling shows that 90 percent show they are in favor of the background check system the issues do 90 percent of americans agree on? one that is political file to have that kind of number democrats and republicans and independents? people of america are trying to tell us to doo something but yet senator mcconnell refuses. even thehe conservative republican governor of texas has called for the background check system changes. i hope the voters are listening they have listened and done something the
bipartisan house past the house 240 / 190 on the bipartisan rollcall on februar february 27. we're here 200 days later and the senate which does virtually nothing every single day through the senators leadership refuses to even consider this bill. address thes the american people say are the primary concerns in their minds. while republican leadership in the senate these days doesn't seem to like to vote, they do
like to tweet, so perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised when one of our republican colleagues, the junior senator from texas, responded to a recent mass shooting by tweeting criticism of gun laws in the city of chicago. there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding by this senator and some other republicans who believe that despite what the maps show us, that chicago is actually an island. well, it's not. they team to think that there is no way that people could actually drive 20 minutes into northwest indiana, go to a gun show, buy a truckload of guns, and sell them in the alleyways of the city of chicago at night. it happens. and it's the reason why a state law can't solve the problem. chicago's mayor, my friend, lori lightfoot, pointed out the obvious to the junior senator from texas. 60% of illegal firearms recovered in chicago come from out of state. that's why we need a federal
background check reform bill like the one that passed the house. mayor lightfoot is right, and she graciously invited senator cruz, our colleague, to actually come visit chicago to see it's not an island. it's connected to other states, and to see what the city is doing trying to work to reduce the scourge of gun violence and how republican senators, if they really want to help, can help by passing legislation for true background checks. i hope that the senator from texas accepts the invitation. it's a great town. we'd like to show it to him. another area in which this do-nothing senate has fallen short is when it comes to public safety threats posed by violent white supremacists. i have introduced the domestic terrorist prevention act. it's the only legislation pending in the senate to address white supremacist violence. the gunman in the august 3 mass shooting in el paso posted a white supremacist manifesto before he shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others at
a walmart. unfortunately, not a -- an isolated incident. an unclassified may, 2017, joint intelligence bulletin found that, quote, white extremist sprism poses lethal violence. it also finds that white supremacists were responsible for 29 homicides and 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016. more than any other domestic extremist group. at a july hearing, i asked the f.b.i. director, mr. wray, and he told me that a majority of domestic terrorism arrests this year involve white supremacists, white nationalists, and now they call themselves white identitarians. it's clear that white supremacists are the most significant terrorist group facing america today. what have we done to address this? nothing. just like h.r. 8, just like the
gun safety legislation which we should be considering, senator mcconnell refuses to bring anything before the senate. by bill cosponsored by 21 senators, including democratic leader senator schumer, would establish offices to combat domestic terrorism at the justice department, f.b.i., and department of homeland security. these offices will be required to take concrete steps to prevent domestic terrorism, including assessing and publicly reporting on domestic terrorism threats, focusing limited resources on those significant threats, and providing information, training, and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement. this would produce a sustained, coordinated effort with significantly more resources directed toward combating white supremacist violence. it would make america safer. it's time for the senate republican majority leader, senator mcconnell, to let the senate be a senate, to actually
debate. i stand tonight on the floor and i'm honored to be here, but let's face it. i'm giving a speech to a largely empty chamber in the hopes that some following this speech on c-span or reading it later may take some information of value from it. i would much rather be engaged in a debate at this very moment on h.r. 8, how to pass it. if necessary, how to amend it. but to do something to respond to gun violence in chicago and illinois but across the entire united states, it's time for senator mcconnell to let the senate be the senate and vote on the house-passed gun background check bill. and we need to take another -- up other critical legislation as well, to be prevent gun violence and domestic terrorism. i hope that he'll consider my bill on white supremacists. this legislation can make us safer and save lives, if we can just bring it to a vote. i yield the floor.
mrs. murray: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: as we grieve with the communities from el paso and dayton and midland, i can't help but be reminded of the seattle jewish federation, marysville, seattle pacific university, freeman high school, and so many other communities in my home state of washington and nationwide that are suffering as a result of tragic and tragically preventable gun violence. after each of these heartbreaking events, families in washington state ask me why does this keep happening and why can we not stop it? and the answer is the same every time. we can't stop it because republicans, led by leader mcconnell and now president trump, won't let us. because of this inaction, we have entered a very destructive cycle. people going about their days to school and movie theater, place
of worship to places where they should feel safe, lose their lives to gun violence. communities and democrats speak out. we call for commonsense reforms such as the universal background checks which the vast majority of americans support. and meanwhile, republicans stand by and refuse to take any meaningful action to stop these violent, senseless, preventable deaths so nothing happens here in congress. and then months, weeks, days, or even hours later, the cycle starts all over again. every time we have seen this cycle across all of the terrible shootings that have plagued our country in recent years, there are two common threads. the first is that in response to tragedy, communities have banded together to make their voices heard and press for change. i have been proud of gun advocates in washington state like the alliance for gun responsibility and moms demand
action chapters in spokane and across the state who are leading the way and staying determined. the second common thread is senate republicans. every time we push for lifesaving reforms, it always ends in the same place with the same thing standing in the way of change, and the most us from trading part of this is that there are steps we could take right now today that will save lives. the house has passed the universal background checks legislation, which are 8, with bipartisan support, but it's now languishing here in the senate despite our calls for a vote, all because the majority leader just won't bring it up. and president trump, who is so willing to use his bully pulpit for far less worthy causes, hasn't used it to take action in ways that could save lives right now. in other words, the president and senate republicans continue to make clear they are more
interested in protecting the n.r.a. than the families in my home state and across the country, and that is simply unacceptable, and democrats are not going to stop calling for action. leader mcconnell should break thisyc here and now by putting h.r. 8 up for a vote which would implement universal background checks and close inexplicable gun show and internet loopholes. considering that more than 80% of americans support universal background checks, this bill should be a no-brainer, and it is the first step we need to take to curb gun violence in our country, but it can't be the only one. if we are serious about truly putting an end to this epidemic, we should look at legislation to expand access to extreme risk protection orders which has, by the way, been implemented in my home state of washington to get guns out of the hands of those who are in crisis. we should limit magazine sizes. we should revive the assault weapons ban and invest igun
violence research prevention. these commonsense reforms can help us begin to break this cycle, but we have got to take action now to curb gun violence, and that means startingit the universal background check legislation that is waiting right here in the senate to take action. democraticolleags here in the senate and i have repeatedly called for a vote on h.r. 8, and we're going to keep putting pressure on republicans in the senate until we get one. but we can't do it alone. we need to keep lifting up our voices together to demand change, as we did, after sandy hook, after parkland, after marysville, and now following the terror in texas and in ohio. it's not easy. i'm not going to give up and i know the millions of parents and grandparents and students and so many across our nation are not going to give up either.
together, we can break this senseless cycle. and it starts with the majority leader. mr. president, while we often disagree on the steps we believe need to be taken, i believe that all of us who are left in the senate would say that we came here to make a difference, and certainly to do whatever we could to ensure that the people we represent are safe. right now, far too often, they are not. so the senate is not doing its job. so, mr. president, i call on the majority leader to let us vote on h.r. 8. let's send it to the president's desk. let's do what the vast majority of americans want us to do and take this first step to stop gun violence so we can finally begin to put a stop to this terrible deadly cycle. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the
senator from new mexico. mr. heinrich: we are all coming to the senate floor tonight to demand that the senate take real steps to address our gun violence edmonton. this epidemic -- epidemic. this epidemic is wide reaching. we know so many who have grown weary from the shootings in our schools. in my home state of new mexico, in recent yrs, we have seen gun violence tragically take the lives of high school students in aztec and clovis. and just last month, college students in hobbs. every student and teacher should feel safe at school. no parent should have to live in fear of their child not coming home at the end of the day. across our nation, we have witnessed with grave horror mass shooters armed with assault rifles gun down americans in churches, in synagogues, in
concert venues, and in shopping centers. amid our grief and anguish, americans have come together to call on their leaders to not let this senseless, heart-wrenching violence continue unabated. they are calling on us to do something. we can no longer accept these horrific shootings as the status quo. in my hometown offal becur key, three teenagers were shot in death in multiple shootings across our city. six others were wounded and while police are still investigating these senseless acts of violence, no one can tell me that this level of gun violence is somehow acceptable. and there are things that we can do. there is noouhat this debate brings up very emotional
and difficult questions, and there are large challenges that we need to grapple with that are fueling gun violence in america. many of the most horrific acts of violence and terror that we've witnessed have been inspired by hateful ideologies, by racist bigotry, and by divisive rhetoric. but we need to acknowledge that they were carried out with deadly weapons. weapons that we are clearly not doing enough to keep out of the hands of those who would seek to cause us harm. we may not all agree on what steps should be taken at the federal level to address this crisis, but can we at least agree that something needs to be done to combat the epidemic of gun violence in this country. we need to listen to our nation's students and mothers who are calling for us to come together on the things that we can agree on.
at the very least, that includes universal background checks. there is bipartisan legislation on background checks that passed out of the house that is sitting on the majority leader's desk right now. let's vote on that bill. someone who can't pass a background check should not be allowed tourchase a firearm. we shouldn't be puttinguns g the hands of those convicted of domestic violence or sexual assault, who continue to be a threat to their victims, someone who has been found by family and friends to be a danger to themselves and their community should not be in the possession of a deadly firearm. and if our government has put someone on a no-fly list because of the risk that they pose, we shouldn't allow that potential terrorist to buy a gun.
i can't frankly understand how any of that is controversial. but the senate majority is refusing to act. they're hoping that if they hide long enough, if they hide long enough, this will just blow over. can we at least agree that more public health and scientific research is needed on this gun violence epidemic? all of us in some way are grasping for answers on our nation's unparalleled violence. but even funding research into gun violence is being vetoed by the n.r.a. it's hard to believe that senate republicans could find a way to be against so many commonsense solutions. nearly every solution is being rejected. the overwhelming majority of americans, including gun owners
like myself, agree that congress needs to finally take these real steps to address gun violence. look, this is not an issue that i take lightly. like many americans, i am a gun owner. but with that privilege should come a great deal of responsibility. i'm teaching my two sons how to responsibly use firearms. in fact, when our family sits down to a meal that includes red meat, it is almost always from the wild game that we have harvested. i think you'll find when you talk to most gun owners, to most sportsmen, they more than anyone know how much we need to respect the deadly force inherent in these tools. and most agree that we should make sure that firearms are used responsibly and safely. those of us in congress should never hide behind phony
arguments that use fear to intimidate us away from action. americans are desperate for us to act. so i will join my democratic colleagues once again in calling upon majority leader mcconnell and president trump. enough is enough. it is long past time to doing is, to stop hiding, it is long past time for us to turn our nation's grief and frustration into meaningful action to protect our kids and our communities. madam president, i would yield back. mrs. gillibrand: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mrs. gillibrand: madam president, i rise to join my colleagues, senator heinrich, and the others who have come before, in calling on senator mcconnell to act now to address the gun crisis in our country. every day that the senate
republican leaders renews to act, they are making a choice to be complicit as more lives continue to be lost. people across my state and the one want to see action, and they're tired of waiting for it. i've met with countless families across new york who have lost their children, spouses, friends, community members, neighbors to gun violence. i've met people who have survived mass shootings and people who live every single day with the threat of gun violence in their neighborhoods. i've heard their stories and seen thousand their lives have been foreign-- torn apartment by gun violence and paid i want to tell some of those stories to you. one of citizens units from long island and a father of young children was at the route 91 harvest music festival for work. he heard loud popping noises and soon realized they weren't coming from the performance on stage but from a gun.
as the shooter fired round after round, robert hid behind a metal vending machine for protection. the bullets being fired around him were so powerful, he could actually feel the shock waves. he said he would never forget the silence of 20,000 people at a concert or the horrific screams of grown men and women he could hear as the gunman reloaded. he was lucky. he survived. but 58 people did not, and many more were injured. another new yorker, trudel, had to make the unthinkable decision to take her husband off life support after he was shot in the cross fire of two rival gangs at a community festival in brooklyn. he was just an innocent bystander, and ironically, he
was an attorney for the state who helped draft the new york state -- the new york safe act, which set a precedent for one of the strongest gun laws in the country. but he was not immune from gun violence himself. as trunel told it, her husband's life and bright life were extinguished by guns. at the trial, trunel heard a criminal testify about how easy it was for him to purchase a gun and traffic it from georgia to new york. it should not be this easy for criminals to get access to dangerous weapons. it should not be so easy for lives to be taken so senselessly. one mother i met in new york, jackie row adams lost not one but two sons to gun violence. one of her sons was shot when he was 17 years old outside a
bodega in harlem. the reason? two men with a gun believed that her son was staring at them. so they killed him. ms. roadams lost her second son during a robbery outside of her apartment. the bill who shot him was only 13 years old. he should never have had access to a gun. imagine the horror of being a mother and losing two of your sons to gun violence and then there's another one of my constituents, edwin vargas. his 16-year-old son luis, was killed on halloween when unknown gunmen decided to fire a weapon into the crowd in a neighbored in in the brooks. the gunman was irritated by a group of teenagers who were throwing eggs in his neighborhood, so he began to randomly shoot no the crowd.
-- shoot into the crowd. the gunman hit three innocent bystanders including luis. luis was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. these are the tragic stories, heartwrenching stories that new yorkers have shared with me. but they are by no means unique. in every state around the one there are too many stories just like these. the relate tate is that mass shootings -- the reality is that mass shootings can and have happened all over this nun all types of places. gun violence is being abouting the new normal in earthquake in. certainly it has happened in arizona, madam president. but we do not have to live in a country where mass shootings occur in our schools, our houses of worship, our movie theaters, playgrounds, stores, our community gatherings and festivals and concerts and nightclubs and on your
congresses. madam president, i am speaking to you and to every other republican in this chamber because we all have a responsibility to do the right thing and stand up to the n.r.a. and stand up to the greed and corruption that is in this country today that makes every decision about whether we have a vote on commonsense gun reforms. i could poll your state for you. i can ask every n.r.a. member in america, do you support universal background checks, banning large magazines, military-style weapons, leave enemy in the hands of military members, not someone who walks into a store and buys it because he wants to shoot large numbers of people in minutes and seconds. that's what's happening in america today. and i'd like you to look up because i have to say, this is something all of us should be caring about. especially from arizona, where my dear friend gabby give