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tv   Gun Violence Prevention Task Force  CSPAN  May 23, 2018 2:26pm-4:12pm EDT

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i think the president made the right decision to recognize the israel as jerusalem's capital. >> i traveled last year to look at embassy sites and everyone i talked to said it would be a disaster. that hasn't happened. is there an issue with group think and the state department kind of at the career level that they're kind of in more of one mind or do you have confidence? >> we're going to leave this now and take you to a live meeting of the house democratic meeting task force on gun violence prevention. students from marjorie stoneman douglas high school share their experiences. live coverage now on c-span3.
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>> i'm waiting to listen to what you have to say. we're calling this -- because we're always talking to you and speaking to you and sometimes we don't listen. so today we're going to listen thank you so much for coming. where is miami central? where is north miami? where is miami carol city? where is hallendale.
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our newest chapter. okay. thank you so much. this is great. you made it! [ applause ] >> taking the responsibility. you do it every year but this is a very, very special group. a special group that has come with a special message to america. and the parkland kids, where are they at? they didn't come yet? stoneman douglas? i guess they're on their way. they're on their way. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> before we get started, i like
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everyone to take their seat. thank you for coming. as chair of the gun violence prevention task force, i'm proud to welcome analysts and i want you to know that our members of congress are with us today are interested to hear about your work. your advocacy to reduce gun violence in our communities. a little bit of housekeeping we need to take care of. we're going to be joined by the democratic leader, nancy pelosi in a bit. she'll have some remarks. representative wilson and deutsche are going to be here or are here. they're going to have some brief remarks. then we'll get to the real reason that we're all here today. and that's the inspiring young leaders before us this afternoon. we have most of your full statements and we'll recognize
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two of you for four minutes. after we hear from the updaters, we'll recognize members of congress in the order in which they arrived today. each member will get four minute block of time for remarks and questions. and i want to remind the members that the answers from the panel must be completed in your four minute block. because the strong interest in today's panel, i'm going have to keep a strict timeline on things. thank you to each of you for being here and the work you're doing to change our nation for the better. i would like to now yield to representative wilson for three minutes. >> thank you, representative thompson. gun violence is affecting our nation. no one and no place is immune to it. shootings are now taking place in places that were once considered safe havens like schools and churches. as you know, just last week,
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eight stublts and two teachers were shot and killed in a high school in santa fe, texas. there are communities across the nation where gun violence occurs on a daily basis. -- both shot in their chest while playing in their front yard last week. thankfully they all survived. thousand of other children's that haven't been as fortune. there are just too many guns in america. the issue of gun violence is like an octopus with many tentacles each representing the different component and it's apparent we figure out how to address every one of them. should we ban assault weapons? should school districts hire more counsellors? do we need social workers to make home visits to check on troubled children. do we need more police officers
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in schools? maybe we should create more mentoring programs to intervene in the lives of children who might be tempted to join gangs or use guns to solve their problems. how can we strengthen background checks? should we reinstitute d.a.r.e.? also known as drug abuse resistance education in our schools because gun and gang violence is illicited by drug trade. my former job was being a school principal. i just can imagine if someone had come into my school and shot up the school. i probably would never be able to work another day. so today we're going to listen to the children and thank you so much to all of you and especially to the press for coming today to cover this most important event. thank you, representative thompson. i yield back.
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>> thank you very much. i'm going introduce the panel that is going to speak. i'll just introduce you all. and then you'll speak in the order in which i introduce you. charlie, 11th grader from marjorie stoneman high school in florida. jennif daniel from richard montgomery high school. taylor noorwood from king high, high school. we'll hear from three minutes from representative deutsche and then we'll go right to the panel starting with charlie.
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>> thank you. we may have -- thank you very much. thank you, chairman thompson, and leader pelosi. thank you to my colleagues, especially representative wilson for bringing this important group of voices together. i want to thank our student panelists for taking the time to come to washington to share your experiences with us. i would like to note that stephen colbert said recently. he marvelled like i did at the students survivors at marjorie stoneman douglas high school and student leaders from other schools around the country who organized walk outs and marches to call for action. he said, i quote there is one group that does give me hope we can do something to protect the children and sadly it's the children. so today members of congress are
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going to stop talking so much and start listening. listening to the students who survive shootings in their schools, students who lost friends and loved ones to gun violence. listening to students who know that gun violence isn't just a fear but a daily reality. one thing i want to make clear is these students are not here today because of long held political ideology, they are not here today as democrats or republicans. these students have grown in an era filled with active shooter drills and emergency plans. they're here today speaking for their lives. this is not a drill, it is a test. this moment is a test of our institutions, the people who fill them, whether the adults will start acting a little more like these students. will the adults move past partisan gridlock and move on to a debate about solutions and we want the students to form the debate when we haven't. i welcome you and i'm so grateful for you being with us
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today. >> thank you. >> taylor norwood is from chicago, illinois. and she represents good kids city and that's a group that is chicago kids that are operating with kids from baltimore. actually, i had a meeting with them in the office. i took from that meeting they want to feel safe. they want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. they want to feel safe in their schools. also, and i feel like i'm the voice in congress that talks about the every day shootings. not the mass shootings so much because in the chicagoland area, we deal with this every single day. these are good kids that are trying to operate, in how they sigh it, as a mad city.
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they want the attention from us adults and the resources and tools so they can live high quality lives in each and every neighborhood. so taylor is a great representative of that group. thank you for being here. >> yes, i have the honor of introducing daniel. who is is a 12 grader at richard montgomery high school in maryland, and he's a sensational organizer who, in addition to his eight classes and his activities has thrown himself, like these students have, into organizing to save america from this plague of gun violence. so i'm delighted he's with us today. >> thank you. charlie, you're on. >> thank you for having us. you know, we didn't prepare anything but we're here to talk about our opinions and hopefully influence anyone who is listening. so, i mean, there are tons of issues in our country right now as far as debates and differences in ideals and
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differences in positions on policies. i think it's important to prioritize certain issues that affect everybody equally. you know, it's important to realize that meaningful gun legislation needs to be passed because that affects everybody. and not -- it does certain people disproportionally but specifically this is the issue that everyone needs to focus on. for us, we lost friends, we lost teachers. and it changed our lives forever. and now this is our mission. i was really close with one of the victims and every since he passed, that's when i decided this would be my mission. there are things that democrats
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and republicans disagree on all over the board, but this is one i think it's important for us to work together on and not let any outside groups affect our opinions. i think it's important for politicians to focus on their own opinions and let that be represented in what they vote on and not let outside opinions affect their opinions. and they need to represent their constituents who elected them. issues like universal background checks. anybody who says they don't -- they're supporting their constituents by not voting for that, or not supporting that is lying. there is no place where the constituents want that. 97% of the country supports universal background checks. and the vast majority of the country supports meaningful gun legislation. now the fact that doesn't happen means that the people of the country are not being represented. and not -- it doesn't matter whose fault it is.
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it matter it's not happening and it's everyone's job to focus on making it happen. that's why we've been traveling around d.c. meeting with representatives and senators. some of them met with us. some of us did not. some didn't let us meet with them. it's important for everyone to work with us in making a difference. thank you. >> thank you very much. alfonso. hi. how is everyone doing today? good. i'm trying. i think charlie raised some good points. bringing up why we should pass meaningful gun legislation in this country, but, you know, the reason why we're here is despicable. i sincerely wish none of the kids of this panel were here today. i wish that our children don't
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have to come to panels and go to d.c. and talk to politicians about lobbying to pass universal background checks. and pass things that are common sense gun control. i remember february 14th, 2018, perfectly. i was in my favorite class. i was with my friends. it was drama class. we were silly. we were practicing for the school show we put on for the kids at the neighboring elementary school. and i remember there was about five minutes left of class. it was 2:35. and the fire alarm rang. it was kind of odd. we were kind of confused because earlier that day we had a fire alarm drill. never the less, kids started walking out of the classroom. smiling because we were literally singing songs in a musical. when i got to the door, that's
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when all hell broke loose. all i saw were school staff screaming to get back into class. teachers crying. we were hearing gunshots but we weren't sure what was happening at the moment. i had a feeling they knew what was happening, and to quote a young lady from santa fe where they just recently experienced a tragedy just like what we had at douglas, i wasn't surprised this was happening. i wasn't surprised at all. i remember when i went back into class, all i saw were terrified, mortified, crying faces. people had considered family. completely traumatized possibly for the rest of their lives. we went into a closet and had to wait around for hours, it felt like, in a closet it was about 95 degrees on a hot february
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florida day. i remember hearing the gunshots and screams while being in that closet. and to my best friend, his name is brian, he's a cool guy. he started crying on me, which was really unexpected. he's a tough soccer player. he's a ladies man. he's not the guy you expect to break down. after praying and really being upset, i told him something i never thought i would have to tell my best friend. i told him if the shooter does come in the closet, play dead. get behind someone else. pretend that you're actually dead to try to survive being in a public high school. and from that moment on, something kind of strange happened. you'd think i was probably traumatized. i still don't know if i am, honestly, but something really strange happened. i was motivated.
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i was kind of energized because not only did i just survive the scariest thing that could possibly ever happen to me, but i knew something had to change. there is no way that a school with 3500 kids, which are amazing an a-rated school in a rich suburban neighborhood in south florida is supposed to be scared of a gunman with an ar-15 coming in and killing us. there's absolutely no way that should be the norm. and there's been a lot of talk, especially around here about putting america first. i agree. let's put america first. put the gun lobbies and the nra second. i don't understand why it's such a difficult conversation to have. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you very much.
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jennifer. >> good afternoon. my name is jennifer. i'm 17 years old. gun violence in my neighborhood takes place with alarming frequency. i hear gunshots way too often. the scariest part about it is not knowing where and when it's going to happen. my friends and class mates are closer to danger than i am and they have it even worse because gunshots are flying in front of their house. not knowing when and where which forces their family to scramble to safety. because of cramped housing conditions -- because of cramped housing conditions, it is very easy for students to miss his target and shoot at innocent bistanders. i feel unsafe because my community is unsafe. for example, small children are afraid of big children and play in front of their house and ride
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their bikes because someone might start shooting. that's no way to live. -- a 4-year-old lost her life to gun violence. it was an accident but at the hands of her uncle. some of the gun violence that happens in our communities are gang related. some students are put under pressure to join the gang. and when they do, it's because sometimes we don't have role models to guide them. they turn to the streets for love, attention they need, and they don't get at home, which leaves them nothing but to go to the streets. some children are groomed to become gang members because that's part of their family culture. others they join the gang by force. not by choice. the gun experience -- the gun violence at stoneman douglas happened on their campus.
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we don't worry about someone coming into our school and shooting up our school. in fact, when we're planning a walk -- my friend said we're supposed to lock ourselves inside the school. we feel more safe in our school than we do in our community. and i think that's an extremely important message because it is -- i think it was an extremely powerful message about how what happened outside the school that we are afraid of more. still, too many mondays i have to come to school to find out yet another student's life has been taken. and it has happened so many times i'm becoming immune. there are so many kids that are being taken. last month, four boys were on
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their porch outside an bright afternoon. they were killed. a freshman said in a media interview the only thing our streets soak up more than our blood is our tears. we're tired of crying. her words cannot ring truer. it's time for us to do something about the condition of our world. when kids are crying, adults should do something and listen. and more importantly, do something. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] malachi. >> good afternoon. my name is malachi and i'm 17 and a junior in broward county, florida. i do not live in the safest neighborhood but i've been blessed to not directly experience or encounter any form of gun violence.
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that is not to say, though, it hasn't impacted my life. when my mother was 14 years old, she was robbed at gunpoint while walking home one night. the gunman took her shoes, and jewelry and told her to run away and not look back. it's been 30 years and my widowed mother still cares that night with her every day and it impacted the way she treats my siblings and i. i found myself being paranoid when i'm in an unfamiliar neighborhood or in an unfamiliar area and i find myself constantly looking around and making sure that everything is safe and in check. i remember one sunday in april of 2017, my brother gabriel who lives in north miami and attends miami central high school was supposed to go to church with his best friend. he slept through the knocks at the door when his friend came to pick him up. soon after, they went to another
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house but it wasn't church. hail of bullets rained down on their car. tyrrell was with his brother who was involved in a lot of bad stuff and he terrell lost his l day. but by the grace of god my brother did not. this tragedy brought both of us down and discouraged us much. for a long time my brother was very traumatized. it was the feeling of fear and a feeling of sharp pain. he lost his best friend. he had the harsh feeling that it could have been him if he had gotten in the car that day. it also shows us anybody can be a victim of gun violence. and it created the mentality and barrier that we can be next and we are not safe. i learned that the choices you make today will effect you tomorrow. and tomorrow is not promised. i honestly feel like it's a shame that people my age who
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should look at life at full of limitless possibilities even think this way. after the park man shooting, many of my classmates were even afraid to come to the school. for the next week we were on code yellow, home life was restricted, and if i showed up without an id i were placed on indoor suspension for a whole day. that was chilling. but what made matters worse those who went on social media and made jokes and made threats and posts about school shootings. i remember the police came to our school to arrest an individual for doing such a thing. a lot of people take these things for granted. because they feel like it either won't or can't happen to them. and i feel like a lot of people make jokes about these kind of things because they don't really have a clear understanding of how serious this is. i know that the students at marjory stoneman douglas or sandy hook weren't expecting to lose their friends and their
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friends weren't -- i'm sorry, and their friends weren't expecting to lose their lives that day. and we can't fully comprehend what they went through unless we experience it our self god forbid. i recently learned the mandate, be brave, be bold, and act now. we have to be brave and face the fact that our nation has a problem with gun violence. we have to be bold and be the solution and we have to act now because tomorrow isn't promised. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> ricky. >> good afternoon. my name is ricky pope i'm 18 years old. violence in my community is seemingly unavoidable. anticipating danger much of it gang related is the norm. worrying about safety is just a part of living in the inner city.
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when i was younger, i used to love to count sheep to help me fall asleep. but now i lay on the bed count the shots that frequently range out. in middle school i had the choice to choose between guns and books, and although i've chose books i've been held at gunpoint by law enforcement and my friends and i have had to get by bullets. there is no red tape that suggests no one cares. fortunately no one in my family has been a victim of gun violence unfortunately i cannot say that about my friends. i'm tired of losing friends who i went to middle school with, shared dreams about great few thaurs that we planned for our lives. african americans make up 19% of miami-dade county population.
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but more than 70% of the victims treated for gunshot wounds in a local hospitals are black males. recently, several young black men from communities in my area were murdered. one of them was kim. a student who was about to be inducted into the national honor society. soon after his death, his character was attacked because he was allegedly involved in a gang. many of my friends and a quai acquaintances own guns. there was a time when i was being bullied and thought about getting a gun for protection myself. but i quickly realized that once you go down that route, there is no turning back. unfortunately, that's not a lesson that the youth who has chosen lives of violence have learned. i feel lucky that my school is a safer place than my community.
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shooting drills and emergency code systems, something that inner city kids are very familiar with. when it hits close to home, the best thing to do is pray that trouble isn't at your front door. this is not the life i wanted to live. and i'm privileged to have the opportunity to speak about how gun violence effects our communities. but talk is cheap. i hope the conversation that we have here today doesn't fall upon deaf ears. but it turns into planning and action. because my life and the lives of young people all across this country depends on it. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> devari.
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>> good afternoon. my name is deaf russell. i'm 18 years old and senior at miami lakes educational center. bullets don't have eyes. that's the kind of lesson those of us live in neighborhoods where gun violence occurs on a regular basis are taught at a very young age. it means that even though someone may not be a shooter's target and may not engage in that lifestyle, they can still very easily get hit. i hear gunshots at least once or twice a month. hand on three separate occasions there has been drive byes and shootings in the same wreer on my street. in one instance gunman shot up a house and missed the target instead they ended up wound willing target's child. in another a father was shot and killed right in front of the house when dropping off his children to mother's house just a couple doors down from where i live. on july 27 h 2017, my friend,
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ryan, i've known him since i was five years old, he was shot and killed right in front of his house with his whole family in i had zoo. he had just received his deplochl a, has two little sisters, a mother, a father, a girlfriend, and a one-year-old son. i felt really hurt at the time. and also confused. because i don't think he was in a gang or anything that would have led to this. but then again like i said, bullets don't have eyes. i remember thinking that these incidences were unfair and unnecessary. but, also, i feel kind of desensitized to it which disappoints me. shooting shouldn't happen so often that they be cease to be
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shocking and definitely shouldn't be something that children deal with every day of their lives. there are times i don't feel safe, but at the same time i try to mind my own and don't do anything that someone would harm me. i like to feel no one can come into my school with a gun and i feel that mine is safe. but we do have a lock down procedure in place. all doors are locked, windows are es enclosed, lights are turned off and students remain silent. my hope for the future is that teens who have a mindset to be leaders will influence people to stay away from this. parents should never have to bury the children. it should only be the other way around. thank you for listening. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> daniel.
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>> good afternoon, everyone. my name is daniel golilo and senior in rock field, maryland. my involvement with the student movement pushing end gun violence began at the soothing at marjory stoneman douglas in parkland rksz flar. wh , florida. when i heard about the shooting i was upset. i knew action was needing to be taken. the day after the shooting i began organizing. i would end up leading a student walk out that ended up at the united states capital exactly one week after the atrocities in parkland. students from all over our local area rallied at the capital and called on our lawmakers to take legislative action to prevent another mass shooting from happening. ever since then i've been immersed in the gun control and ending gun violence. getting more students involved in the moving and even appearing
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on hardball with deutch. i was not surprised. these massacres have become all too common. columbine happened one year before i was born. sandy hook happened when i was in 7th grade. las vegas, parkland, great mills, waffle house, and now santa fe, have all happened during my senior year of high school. when events like this happen with did this kind of frequency, how can we not be numb to it? shake, the exchange student killed in the santa fe shooting last week, was a friend of the pakistani exchange student living with my family right now. she had 18 days left in the school year just a few days until she returned home. instead, her 17-year-old body was shipped back in a coffin.
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gun violence is reaching into our homes and our classrooms. no one is safe. personally, i have gone to school in fear every single day since sandy hook. as the months drag on, more and more students are slaughtered like animals all because of the easy and overwhelming access to firearms in this country. a rallying chant we often use is how many more. i hope that this question is considered by members of congress. the fate of many innocent people, particularly students, will be decided by how and when lawmakers clo lawmakers choose to answer that question. there is so much that congress can be doing to curb is sense less violence, however the powers that be do not do that, this should be political. bullets do not discriminate. they effect us all in the same way whether we are republicans, democrats, or independents.
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why can we not put our differences a side and resolve to make our country safe for everyone? this is obviously a fight that is not going to end any time soon. i have a younger sister and many friends that still go to school every day in constant danger, so long as military style weapons are available and easily accessible to private citizens. they deserve not to go to school in fear, and i'll fight until that is a reality. you should not have to be personally impacted about i a shooting or gun violence in order to realize that something needs to be done to stop this blood shed. my generation rejects the conventional political wisdom that gun violence is a lost cause. this may be an uphill battle, but my generation will not give up. we refuse to go to school in fear. we refuse to watch anymore of our friends, family, and neighbors die senseless deaths. we will not give up. however long it takes, we will win. thank you for inviting me to speak here today.
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>> thank you. [ applause ] >> taylor. >> good afternoon, everyone. may name is tailor wood. i'm a 18-year-old student in chicago, illinois. i come to you all with the had eve have i heart today because we are faced with more horrific tragedies that happened over the past few weeks that no person should experience. my love and support go out to the families in georgia after they experienced a shooting that happened at the same shooting in santa fe high school in texas, where 8 students and two teachers lost their lives and 13 injured. they also have my support. the brave students at marjory stoneman douglas rally people
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across the country, our schools and pla places to build relationships. 22 shootings have happened at schools this year. and that is 21 more than too many. when you asked students what safety looks like, most will tell you it's school. i'm not sure we can say that anymore. now we are teens can easily obtain schools and shooting through schools. not only are guns easily accessible, young males learn in america that violence is an acceptable way to express their fear, anger, and frustrations. toxic masculinity has to be dealt with in addition to stricter gun laws in order to protect us from this continued violence. i want common sense gun laws, but i also know we have to fundamentally figure out how to educate boys to be empathetic and value life and change america's violent culture. but i also have very specific
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demands concerning my be loved city. just this weekend in chicago, 17 people were shot. where is the national out cry for justice for them? what is congress doing to save the lives of children in chicago and baltimore? and do black lives matter in america? in 2016, close to 800 young people were killed with zbun violence. and last year more than 600. we call ourselves good kids because we believe most of us are good kids and want to have meaningful lives but we live in bad cities that don't care about us. who is going to step up and save our lives? donald trump isn't. his answer was to send in the feds. he wants to criminalize black and brown youth and i'm sure.
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safety doesn't involve police and metal detectors in our schools. we know filling up the prison won't stop this in our communities. that's what has hurt our communities and help to fuel the gun violence. if we are going to prevent gun violence in cities like chicago and baltimore, we need resources, and restoration. d.c., you gave us a mayor who cares more about profit than our communities. manual has closed schools and mental health clinics which has contributed to the gun violence in our neighborhoods. and we have a governor who has cut funding for social services and crucial community organizations that help to reduce gun violence. we need legislation that is going to support this and implement restorative justice. we need elected officials to vote for bills to prevent guns from coming into illinois from states with lax gun laws. if we care about the children
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and the teens in chicago and baltimore, this enwe will make sure that money is invested in community centers, mental health clinics, and trauma and schools. in illinois, we spent more time locking up children in juvenile detention centers then to go to schools in low income neighborhoods. on ts west side of chicago which has some of the highest rates of gun violence, wants to spend $95 million on a police academy instead of investing it in creating jobs for youth. our experiences are different. and we are tired of being treated like we are not worthy to breathe in this country. if you truly care about it rksz you'll be doing all you can to save our lives and upped the violence we experience can be prevented if we have fewer prisons and police and more
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investment in our youth, our education, and our communities. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you for your wonderful testimony. and i'd like to recognize nancy pelosi. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for the gun task force and thank you to so many, many members of that task force and other members of congress of the house who are here. all democrats. i wish it were bipartisan. i know that your leg lags strives to be bipartisan. i want to thank all of the advocates and the rest who are with us today for their courageous leadership, but especially our witnesses. i've read part of the testimony that was available to me earlier. i thank charley and alfonso, jennifer, all the students,
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thank all of you, because you bring your different experiences to bear, whether talking about a massacre in a school, which tears at the heart of our country, but also the recognition that every night on the streets or every day on the streets of our cities kids are at the mercy of. you give me confidence. because i think you will make the difference. i have confidence in the patience of youth to shorten the didist stance between what is inconceivable to some, is inevitable to us. and it is inevitable to us that we will pass strong gun violence prevention legislation. and some of what you have suggested, strengthening background checks, expanding existing systems to cover all commercial firearms, shows on the internet, securing funding to conduct research on gun
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violence prevention. it's not enough to say to do it, you have to have resources. restraining orders that many of you have suggested. the take guns out of the hands of those at risk to themselves or others. and then establishing a select committee on gun violence prevention. thank you, mr. thompson for your leadership on all of these. we are still waiting from an answer from the speaker on the gun violence select committee to study causes of gun violence, practical solutions to end the violence. and to remember and to say to our colleagues, there are better ways to go than some of what the administration is putting forth, hardening schools, students of color in prison pipeline. arming teachers. cutting more than one quarter of the budget for national
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background system is dangerous. and thank you again mr. chairman for your leadership and that of the task force in increasing that funding. they calls for thoughts and prayers, yes we want to be in everyone's thoughts and prayers, about you that is no substitute for action. call for a hearing. call for a hearing on gun safety. give us a vote. give us a vote on any one of these bills. we reject these unsafe dangerous priorities, continue to fight for real action to protect children in our schools. and when people talk about had the nra and a lot of the gun lobby, that's what our members of congress, republican members are afraid of, afraid of? what about the fear that children have in their communities, in their schools, in their neighborhoods? what about their survival? your political survival i say to
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my colleagues is no where important compared to the personal survival of america's children. so let's put things in order. enough is enough. thank you all for adding to the wisdom of this debate. giving us more grounds to go forward. and for the in patience of youth. i know what will happen. you are the chipping point. i've never felt this way so much before. you give us hope. thank you. and i yield back. >> thank you, madam leader. [ applause ] >> because we got started late with the votes, and we have a hard out, what i'm going to do, i'm going to waive my time for questions and go right to mr. deutch and miss wilson are doing the same, go right to the members for questions. but we are going to reduce the time to three minutes per member. so be as quick as you can and we'll go through as many questions that we can. and we'll start with mr.
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swalwell. >> thank you for your leadership and also leader pelosi. to the students i ask, i hear you on your ideas and the proposals that you've put forward. and also taylor, you very articulated talked about believing that a school is a place of safety. and safety is a by nuy nar r bu thing. can you tell us quickly what could we do to make you feel safe? charley? >> on any given day, i personally feel safe. but you never know, you never know what's going to happen. so there are all sorts of varying personal feelings that kids have.
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and you never know what's going to happen. and what would make me feel safe is if tragedies like this could happen, and something would actually happen here. still nothing has happened on the national scale. in the past 24 years it's only gotten worse. and even now, it's been a while, still nothing has hachd. they have been talking about things happening. it just hasn't. there has been some legislation passed locally, about you nothing -- but nothing on the national scale. and i've been around d.c. talking and it seems like it's just leadership here. that just seems to be the issue. there are people right now saying no to us. there are people that are refusing to help us. if they wanted it to happen, it would have already happened. there are things -- like, it's all about priorities, and clearly it's not being prioritized.
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i mean, well, universal background checks would make all of us feel safer if we knew everyone who had a gun had to go through a background check. i don't see why -- i don't see what the difference is on where you buy a gun. i think no matter where you buy a gun, you should go through the same processes. i think it shouldn't be so much ess easier to buy a gun than getting a driver's license. i think that's very reasonable. i think that -- i mean, there are a lot of policies that i think would be implemented that not only would make us feel safer, but they would make us safer. >> thank you. and i just ask, as we go to november, and you get your peers to show up and vote for your lives, stay brave. don't let them intimidate you. i know you won't. but you are speaking up, showing up, and leading the country right now. and stay brave.
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>> i wanted to follow up. >> we are going to have to get through this so you'll get a chance in a little bit. i want to call mr. hayes ings from florida. >> thank you very much, mike. and i don't have a question, but i do have a suggestion to the youngsters, but thanks are in order before that to all of you. and the leader my dear friend frederick an as well, and ted deutch of the work that you have put in is immense. and for the 5,000 role models even though you won't all get a chance to speak today, we hear you from your representatives and the parents. real good. [ applause ] >> thank you all. and we thank you all, parents and teachers and loved ones that are with you here today as well as the students from our area. two things i think could very
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well be helpful. and, gentleman, yen, you all pl be seated. there are some things i think you can do since you are interconnected on social media. i had this recommendation and started to call david hog at parkland, but i now suggest to all of you that you put on paper and video your thoughts form yet another foundation or utilize one of the ones already in existence, and make it a book, and then make it a video of sorts, sell it, and then use that money to do the things that you all think that you need to do. and among those things, of course, you are already doing, and that's voter registration. and then being in a position to show up. you are making a difference. and you will make an even greater difference in november.
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now, i'm always one that's the skunk at the picnic. and my colleagues here have the same feelings that i have, but wouldn't express them this way. you heard the leader identify some of the legislation that has been offered, that we have sought to have brought to the floor. but there are 26 measures pending by various members that are a variety of reasonable restrictions on our guns. please know this. each of those measures is either sponsored and or cosponsored by democrats. not one republican. so even though republicans are affected, please know that the people that you see here in this room, there were others that were invited, i had two republicans asked me what this tie was. i told them this meeting was going on downstairs. i know they had other things to do. but there are other republicans
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that could have been here. and that's not only true here, it's true around this nation, and that needs to be clearly understood. don't let the nra that's a shell become that shield against gun manufacturers who are basically the progenitors of the ep deppic epidemic of violence we have in this country. toward that end, most respectfully ask of all of you all to register to vote, and then vote. and you ought to know by now who to vote for. thank you. [ applause ] >> miss estes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i represent new town, connecticut, that's why i'm wearing this green ribbon. the kids from new town are too young to have their voices heard. but you are part of that new town generation. you've grown up with lock down
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drills, active shooter drills, that is not the way a good and great country behaves. i think this is the civil rights issue of our time. you've spoken eloquently about feeling some of you about feeling safer in school than on the streets. that is wrong and shameful. and we need to do something about it. it is wrong that you should have to go through metal detectors to go to class. it is wrong that you should be hiding in a closet. it is wrong you should be going to sleep counting gunshots and not sheep. and this problem is just not that hard. the answers are there. it's the political will of the people in this building that have prevented that. i had to step away for a few minutes because the reporter was calling for a proposal administration is doing seals out of state department to put
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it in commerce which is to say promotion of selling more guns around the world. can i see a show of hands? who thinks that that's a good idea? you want to sell more guns around the world and have more of what we have dealing with? i don't think so. so your voices, your marching in the street or classroom, getting all your friends to vote, and holding people accountable, that's what it's going to take. young people, you know, led to the end of vietnam war, young people ensured we had civil rights in this country, young people led the charge for lbgt equality, and i've had more faith in the five and a half years since sandy hook this will change, and it's going to change because of you. thaupg for what you are doing. and if there is anything we can do, no we stand with you, we stand beside you, but i think it's going to take you to lead and shame the adults in this country who have been sitting on their hands quaking about the
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gun lobby rather than quaking in the way that you have in closets and in your bedrooms. that's wrong and it needs to change. thank you very much. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> ms. kelley. >> i want to thank all of you for coming and thank you for your bravery. you can easily stay in parkland or chicago or maryland or where you live in florida and not share your thoughts with us. but you are being very selfless, i would say, by coming and sharing your thoughts and ideas with us. it's interesting some of you feel safer in your community. some feel safer in your schools depending where you live. taylor, you definitely speaking truth to power. thank you. i just want you guys to hold each other's hand and give each other support. because, again, we hear a lot
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about mass shootings but we don't hear a lot about the every day things that go on in neighborhoods. and you have to come through this together and have each other's back. because it's still individuals lose their lives, still mom's and dad's losing children or children losing their mom's and dad's. so you guys have to stick together. the other thing is, council man hastings talked about legislation, and i have legislation that talks about background checks and that type of legislation, but we have to do more about police community relations. because in chicago, 17% of the murders are solved. we have to do more about that. people don't trust police hand police don't trust the people. and, lastly, we have invest in the neighborhoods, education, mentoring, like you guys have with freddic a wilson and teaching parents how to parent, all of that goes into it, and that's when we'll have a safer world and safer neighborhood. but i'll just say keep the
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faith. keep on pushing. keep us accountable. exercise your right to vote. thank you. >> thank you, very much. [ applause ] >> thank you to each and everyone of you who came here to steel your stories, please know you are speaking for others across the country. i've met with several groups of students in oregon. you are their voice, too, and i appreciate your being here. i want to say that monday was the 20th anniversary of the date that 15-year-old student in oregon walked into thurstone high school with guns under a trench cot and killed two people and wounded 24. that was 20 years ago. so we know that this has been an issue for an entire generation. we know what needs to get done. keep speaking up and being bold. and i want to ask you two questions and let you answer until mr. thompson tells you that he's moving on. first, i spoke with student
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recently who said first thing she does when she walks into a classroom is looks for applies to hide and escape. and i know you talked about code wr yellow. how is this affecting your ability to learn and focus? secondly i'll ask both at once. secondly one group of students said we know there are some student who want to talk to talk to counselor or seek mental health care. cone loris are too busy and too much of a stigma so they goent the mental health care they need. what can we do about that? go ahead the two questions, how is this affected the living and what can we do about the stigma? >> go down the line and be real quick maybe everybody will get a chance to answer. >> yeah, one of the arguments used by the other side not to pass enough legislation, not enough facts to prove that any gun control works. and i want to bring up a very important fact. in 2018, there have been more fatalities more people have died, children in schools have died than active servicemen in
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the middle east. i think that shows how it changes the way i this i about going to school and how i this i aboi -- think about learning. because if i were to be drafted in iraq i would have a higher chance of surviving. and i don't understand how this is even a conversation at this point. and for the second question for students who need help but are afraid to get it, i think a very big part of that is first of all there isn't even enough resources. i'm from florida. we are 50th in mental health funding. there is absolutely, i mean, at my school, which was extremely publicized, and i have a privilege, i'm not like the students on the other side of the panel who don't even have counselors. we were extremely under funded. all we got were therapy dogsment and i love dogs and i like petting them but they are not making me get over the fact that i saw dead children on february
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14th. >> i'd just like to pass it along. >> anybody else? how is this affecting you? >> she spoke to you, malaki. do you have any comments on this? >> definitely. thank you, representative. i definitely feel with the code yellows, it doesn't really make our school feel like a school. it more feels like i would say a prison because you have to have an escort before you go anywhere. and you have to have your ids around your neck and security constantly stopping you. so it takes the attention off the academic level of school. and you are more focused on if i come to school today am i going to be in danger. and you hear a door slam hard and you are scared and jumping out of your seat. so that's how it affected me for question one. question two, i bloo eve that programs that -- i'm sorry, programs that pro-actively reach out to the youth would be a solution. because it starts when you are
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little. so funding definitely for the programs such as 5,000 role models program that is going on and more mentorship and prevention programs as well. for example, at my school we have 21st centuryry is tutoring, dinner and transportation to get loam for the youth afterwards. so things like that help keep the youth out of the streets and have them doing something productive with their teaime. thank you. >> thank you everyone. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> mr. angela. >> thank you, chairman thompson, and pelosi for organizing the task force and having the student here to testify. i want to begin by thank youing each and everyone of you for being here, making sure your voices are heard, being pro-active to make sure that congress feels the pressure to enact strong safety gun laws.
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your message is powerful. and i hope you'll continue to make sure your voices are heard until these laws are enacted. and make sure you get registered to vote when you are old enough. and make sure your peers get registered. let's keep up this momentum and pressure. like you, i want to see a strong background check legislation passed. common sense. no brainer. there shupt be a delay. i also want to see a weapons ban passed. and i want to do everything that we can to keep guns out of the wrong hands by making sure -- because we have strong mental health support and programs to make sure those who need help actually get it. i also want you to know that i know a little something about the damage that guns can do. i was 16-year-old when i was police cadet in appli polic
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locker room which should have been one of the safest places trained experts if you have any one with guns in their hands. and police officers gun accidentally went off and gun went off and went through my neck and severed my spinal cord. so when i hear about arming teachers in classrooms, that's something i very much oppose. if two weapons on applies swat team could have an accident, anyone can. and i want to make sure that doesn't happen to someone else. thank you fully my accident was an accident not an act of violence. but i also want to say and to wrap up, even lawfully firearms can be used to a devastating effect. you said bullets don't have eyes. you are so right. i think one of the things we need to do is make sure that those people that do own guns are required to be responsible in making sure they are kept
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locked up and away from children that no one can get access to them. that's why today i'm introducing legislation expansion of child access prevention laws in every state and for every child. these laws hold gun owners criminally liable. if they fail to secure the firearms, my bill will provide funding to states that enact strong laws protecting all children under 18 to help with the implementation and enforcement. and also requires centers for disease control deaths for unsecured guns and requires gun dealers to have gun storage with every gun sale. another thing i would like to see enacted, again, making sure the guns don't get into the wrong hands and that no one can use them to devastating effect. all the things that i've outlined i know have brought support and i hope that you'll continue your message to make sure congress feels the pressure to make sure these laws get
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enacted. >> thank you very much. >> first of all, i want to say thank you. before you were born was the columbine disaster shooting. and i think none of you were born at that time. and i was naive enough as a new member to think this is it. now of course we can do something. so you can imagine the number of times i've thought that since columbine. but i want to tell you when i look at you and i hear you and i see all the work that you are doing, i think with you, high school students, that the nra has finally met its match. i really believe -- [ applause ] >> yeah. i believe in my heart that you are the game changers. and i know i hear frustration, how come you haven't seen any
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legislation happen. i think you will see that. and when it happens, it is because of you. i do want to ask tailylor norwo, i want to thank you for your powerful statement. you talk about good kids, mad city. we are good kids who want to live in peace and safety and meaningful lives have to face this harsh reality of your communities and these realities forced on you by irresponsible adults. so i wanted to ask you. you mentioned the closing of schools and mental health clinics in your community. ment so what are you suggesting to us that we need to do instead of those things kinds of things happening in your communities? we are ready to listen to you and take your lead.
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>> so like i stated, in my city on the west side, they are planning to spend $95 million to open up a cop academy which they say will be used to train cops. but oceessentially it's more so they can put them in schools. and the issue in the study violence that we have in chicago is not going to be solved by more police officers as we have seen with the news stories, everybody has seen the news stories, another black body laid in the streets. another mom who has to come home to an empty bedroom, to a child that they have raised for how many years. and in the past years alone they have closed dozens and hundreds of schools. and you tell students that they are supposed to go to school and
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feel safe in a city where they don't feel safe. violence happens in my city every corner every hour no matter where you are or who you are. and instead of putting this money that we have towards mental health institutions, recreational centers, hospitals, trauma centers, after school programs, park district, transportation, safer, more resources, it's schools that don't have textbooks, updated technology, things of that nature, but we are spending $95 million on police officers and they are not helping at all. they are not helping the children. my city is considered a war zone. and it's because we are at war all the time. every time you step outside of your door you never know if you are going to make it back. my city is too beautiful. when you come from a city like mine that's riddled with violence and crime all the time for the youth to have to step forward and to sit here in the justice system and the
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government that promised to protect us, to have to sit there and for them to tell us that there is nothing that can be done and that the issue is simply self-control, is unacceptable. >> let me just say as a chicagoan i look forward to working with robin kelly and others for that agenda. thank you. >> thank you. mr. scott. >> thank you. >> i want to thank representative wilson and representative deutch for convening the panel and for leader pelosi and mr. thompson for adopting it as a democratic priority. we have been working on this, unfortunately, just democrats, because we can't get republicans to participate. we have studied the issue and come up with a list, it's not
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exhaust i hav exhaustive, universal background checks, and prevention programs like the 5,000 role models of excellence. those are the kinds of things we have been working on and we need pressure from outside to make the leadership bring up some of these bills. we have heard from taylor about police, police can respond to crime, but they don't prevent the crime. and we need investments that will actually reduce crime. there have been reports on the effects of exposure to violence on future behavior. and we know that those who have been exposed to violence are more likely to be future perpetrators or victims. and so i'd like to ask the panelists what kinds of services were available to you after exposure to violence, and whether or not these services
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were sufficient. >> services provided after tragic events usually grief counc counselors, usually in my schools they are there for a day or two which is in sufficient. i would like to propose a review board for the community to vet officers that service their community. we have seen too many times where officers that serve the communities that they are employed in mistreat the community and people that live in it. i'd also like to propose a social justice in schools that provides students with a voice since our constitution says we are the people. so we should be exposed to policy makers, lawyers, and members of political organizations that can introduce us to this way of america, of american life. thank you.
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>> thank you. miss jackson lee. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. miss wilson as well. and to the leader, leader pelosi. again, i am moved to be here. thank you, congressman deutch, and thank you to the gun task force for the enormous work you are doing. so to each and every one of you, here's what i would like to give you as a gift. a school that is a sanctuary for learning and enjoying and interacting with friends. and where you don't have to worry about individuals asking you about your id and you can walk and you can do your athletics and do your learning and your dancing and all that you can do. don't you think you should have that kind of atmosphere in your schools? i can't hear you. don't you think? and that's what i think is important. we in the gun task force think that you are the number one priority in terms of safety. so many of us have legislation to ban assault weapons and ban
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the bump stocks. we've heard of that. and join my colleague on lock boxes and protecting you. but at the same time, we need to have legislation that reauthorizes the juvenile block grant and deals with bullying and bullying prevention so that monies can flow to local communities and school districts to do the very thing that you've said, which is to work on civic participation, but also getting people to understand that bullying is not something that they have to do to survive. so i want to ask daniel, and i'd like to ask i think mr. russell these questions. were you the one they were driving to church? who had that? right. so let me ask mr. daniel and malaki. mr. daniels you were strong. i would like to suggest an open letter to the speaker of the who us and ask him why he has not put gun legislation on the floor of the house for us to vote right now. maybe you can start that. i know have you a petition. but it should go directly to him
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in a letter saying put the legislation on the floor. would you be welcome to doing that? >> well, i would like to say last friday the day of the shooting four of my friends got arrested in front of his office. since then, we have flooded his voice mail with messages saying allow the voechlt because he controls the voting agenda and won't put any of this stuff on the floor. and i think that is murder, basically. he's allowing children in this country to be gunned down in their classrooms because he will not take legislative action. >> i appreciate it. if you would think of that letter form and have as many people sign it or online, i would appreciate it. i just want to ask -- thank you so very much. i was saying a lot of vig ills vigils this weekend for santa fe, they were in my area. and malaki you were saying
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children going to church and they got shot. say that again. >> they were going to pick up my brother. and he could have been in the car. and that was where it really got to me he could have been in the car and been him. and he lived with the feeling every day it could have been here. >> and what happened to the children in the car? >> his best friend passed away from the shooting. but his brother lived. he didn't get shot at all. >> i finish. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to say we should not ever cease in fighting to save lives. thank you all very much. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> mr. schneider. >> thank you, and i want to thank my colleagues for having this hearing. and thank each and every one of you for being here and having the courage and strength to
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share your stories with us. your family, your friends, your community, in fact the entire nation should be proud of you. and more importantly i'll tell you we are counting on you. as others have said it is your generation that i hope becomes the tipping point that we can finally at last have common sense steps to reduce gun violence. as my colleague lee said, we owe it to you and too many political leaders have failed to give you safe, secure schools that our institutions of learning, teaching you the skills you into he had to succeed in life. people in this room are all committed to that we are inspired by you. malaki, i want to find what you said. i pulled it a side because i think your words were, in closing just to repeat them. be bold. be brave. be bold, act now, that's what we are here to do and we need your had ep to do t but please know the people in the this room stand with you and we will try to act.
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daniel, as you and your friends continue to write to the speaker ancontinues to speak out, we take strength from you. so thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. mr. kildee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and to the leader and those who organized this, thank you. but especially to these young people who are participating. i agree with them who said the nra has met their match when it comes to this question. you have incredible power and demonstrated thatt demonstrate th demonstrate that and to continue. i invite to you go to the places around the country where students looking for ways to become involved. students and other youfrng peop. i have met a lot of high school students back in my home
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communities. you have a lot of inspiration. and i would just ask that you, to the ex-at any ti to the extent you can, and we'll help with this, help to organize all across the country these young people who are looking to get involved and get engaged. the point i wanted to make is a the lo of people, and of course my colleagues hear me talk about my hometown all the time, ooh imfrom flint, michigan. and i'm sure many of you have heard about what happened in flint. we had this terrible crisis. and we had 12 people die in flint as a result of the water crisis since the water was poisoned. listen to this, though. during that same period of time, 164 people lost their lives to gun violence. there was this huge reaction. headlines all ohio the newspapers when the crisis was taking place in my hometown. congress acted, thaupg fully to all my friends here, state government stepped up and took
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action. put together about half a billion dollars on the table to deal with the crisis that ultimately killed 12 people. what has happened in flint since 164 people have died gun violence has happened in that same period of time. what has happened as a result of all the terrible tragedies that you have sadly had to experience? nothing. nothing. and there is a reason. and it's because there is an interest group that steps in the way every time we get close to taking any action. i introduced along with a couple of my colleagues a bump stock ban right after the las vegas shooting. and it was ready to go, teed up. until one organization, one single organization decided that they could veto action by congress. we can't give them that power. you are in a position to take that power from them. and the only question i would
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have, i know i only have a minute, do you have a message to the other young people around the country that are trying to find their voice? do you have a message to them that i can carry back, for example, to the kid of flint? any of you? >> daniel? >> i would just say get involved however you can, whether or not there is any sort of organizing infrastructure there where you are, create an infrastructure and do whatever you can. write letters. make calls. walk out. do whatever you can to keep this in the forefront of the american consciousness. >> thank you. mr. rush. >> mr. chairman, i want to thank all of those who are present. i want to thank congressman for
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being here. i'm sitting here and seeing a whole lot of angst and emotionally going through so much. because i know that as a young man, i was somewhere where you are. and i'm from chicago. i represent the first congressional district in chicago. the south side. and i know and feel and hear about all these shootings and the murders that's going on there. and i grew up in the era of the civil rights movement.
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and so that generation really began to accept responsibility for this. and i think we had an impact. and i don't know whether or not we depended so much on members of congress, on the governmental systems. as a matter of fact, some of us knew that. things have changed and you have more reasons to depend on government now. but i would just ask you to all allow not to be on the whims of
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government. you can change society by taking some of these conditions that you find prohibited prohibited you're living a life of quality and safety and i assume you're on the threshold now. changed it in the society. you own -- in some sense you own a prophetic mission and just a political mission. and sometimes she -- you can't live lives of comfort. and lives of just -- wanted to
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committed to trying to change society. you're trying to change thinking. you're trying to change the morality of society, and i think that it might -- the price and cost might be a little more than you anticipate paying. >> thank you, mr. rush. >> mr. tonko. >> thank you, mr. chair and the leadership and the chair and those who co-hosted the event today. i appreciate the forcefulness by which you're conducting the task force agenda. let me first pay tribute to the student power here.
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[ applause ] as has been indicated you're the force that's been out there and just like there are chronological generations, i believe there are political generations, an you've identified your stuff. you've eclipsed from previous generations i think over the access of gun safety and school safety issues. you're living it. you're witnessed it and you're asking for action. and that has given birth to this new political generation. all generations and age groups have amongst them individuals that don't submit to that agenda of the majority, i would think. so my question to you is amongst your peers, amongst your age group, to further empower your voices, how do we convert those those of your peers that don't agree with this agenda? are there those that you've networked with that say i disagree and say what that
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disagreement is about and how do we bring them on board because i think if we grow the numbers, continue to grow the numbers, the forcefulness of the statement overwhelms the opponents in this town. >> well, i would say the most important part of other youth involved in and on track with us is acknowledgement. there are a lot of kids who you will meet that don't see anything wrong with going on. there are children that walk around with ptsd who have no clue because these tragedies happen so often that we've become desensitized to them. this is reality now. not realizing that these things our children and your children and your grand children will read about later in textbooks and be mortified and horrified and a lot of them don't see an issue with it because they don't see adults stepping in to make it an issue.
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when we do things like this and action like this it just seems like it's all for no use because it seems like every time we take a step forward we are pushed three steps back, and so i think accountability and involvement needs to increase. >> ricky, were you going to say something about that? >> thank you very much. >> we've got five more members who want to say something, and we've got about four more minutes to do it, so i'm going to just ask you to briefly make your statement and then we can follow up with the young leaders through the mail or what have you, but mr. loenth ha l, mr. johnson, miss shay porter and mr. green and mr. jeffries in that order. thank you, leader pelosi and gun
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violence protection task force for organizing this forum. you know, i've been traveling around to schools in my district like yourself and to meet with students like yourselves, and i am so impressed and so moved by them as we speak. you know, i keep saying to them as i say to you, i'm older than most of the people here, but i remember the 1960s and was an activist myself when it was students like yourself that stopped a war, that led to a president not running for re-election and joined with martin luther king. it was the students that led to the great civil rights legislation that this nation developed, and so i'm so proud of you. i'm so glad that we're not doing one minutes or that the only thing we're doing is one minute. we're really going to listen to you and hopefully you will bring about that change. >> thank you. >> i just want to thank you for being here. >> thank you. mr. johnson. >> thank you. i want to thank the chairman and all of those associated with
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bringing this opportunity for you all to come and testify before congress and tell us what's on your minds, and we have heard your cries. we have heard your pleas, and i want to commend you all for the courage that you display, the tenacity that you display on these issues and also your heart for your fellow man, and i hope that as you grow up older, as you grow older, you will never lose the idealism that you have now, that you will strive to retain it and act on it. i don't care how old you get to be, but to be a totally different -- to be totally different than the folks that you're looking at and don't let things get so bad for the people who come after you, that they then have to come up here and do the same thing that you are doing. so thank you all. register and get out to vote in
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november. thank you. >> miss shay porter. >> when i was in high school, everybody was afraid to graduate because it meant that they probably had to go off to vietnam, and we felt helpless until we realized that we weren't, and i think you know how that turned out, and i feel the same way about all of you, that you felt helpless until you realized that you're not. so i thank you for your quiet courage and loud activism. now yesterday i asked the secretary of education miss devos to come to us on the education workforce committee and talk about school safety, and she would not commit to that. i think you know what you need to do. we need to work on school safety. we need to make sure that all of you are protected wherever you are. you have the right to want to stay in school because it's a safe place and in your neighborhoods because it's safe. thank you. remember, quiet courage, loud activism. you can going to change the
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world. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. friends, this is about the speaker of the house. if the speaker of the house can't bring gun legislation to the floor of the house, then the speaker of the house needs to leave the house. the speaker of the house ought to resign. [ applause ] >> you can't bring the legislation to the floor. it's about him. and to those who say the solution is a good guy with a gun, put that in writing. sign your name to it. file it as a bill. let's vote. let's have the people of the united states of america know where we stand on this silly folly, the notion that the solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. it's time for us to vote. it's time for us to take action. thank you for the action you've taken to push us to take action.
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>> thank you. mr. jeffries. >> thank you, chairman thompson and thank you, congresswoman wilson and all the members of the task force. good afternoon. it really is an honor and privilege to be here with you. you know, america is a great country. government of the people, by the people and for the people. we've come a long way. we still have a long way to go in terms of dealing with any major societal change that has been brought about within the last 100 years, if not more in america. it's always come as a result of the hopes, the dreams and aspirations of young people, and so now in this generation i'm confident with your continued engagement and i'm thankful and blessed, we all are, by your voices that you will help us solve once and for all the gun violence epidemic in america. >> thank you very much. >> now what we're going to do is i'm going to call on mr. deutch and miss wilson for brief closing remarks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. taylor, first, thanks to all of
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you for being here. taylor, i want you to know that when our grandchildren read in their books about the state of affairs that existed and what was allowed to go on in the country, you are right. they will be mortified. then they will read about the efforts of people like you and students from parkland and miami and maryland, chicago and all across the country, and they will be grateful that they no longer live in that world. that's number one. number two, let's be clear. you're leading. we're going to win. we'll pass gun safety legislation. it might not happen now, but with your leadership it will happen. the question we have to ask ourselves is do we care enough about our community to provide opportunity for everyone and making the investments that we need to make that a number of you already talked about in community centers and mental
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health centers and after-school activities and dropout prevention activities, in doing what frederica wilson has done as the model. are we prepared to do it? there are, if i understand it correctly, there are 8,000 students in the 5,000 role models of excellence in so 5 schools. there are 6,000 -- there are 6,000 volunteers if we are about caring for our community and making sure that every community is safe and that kids have opportunities. this is exactly the kind of program we should be investing in, and we owe congresswoman wilson an enormous debt of gratitude for the example that she has set and that all of you have set. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, and miss wilson to close. >> just a footnote on that,
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representative deutch. we have just moved into broward county, so we're going to be expecting to us help us with that effort and also parkland will be involved in that. we have a chapter in jacksonville, florida. we have chapters in st. petersburg, florida, and we have chapters in detroit, michigan, so i want to -- this was supposed to be the children speaking, so i have two questions for two children. davery, you mentioned you learned to mind your own business and not to do things that could lead to someone harming you. can you explain what these things are. how did you learn that they might cause you harm, and jennifer, i want you -- you mentioned that some children joined the gang by force instead of by force. can you explain more about that. what type of force, and where does it come from, so let's start with davery. >> you'll have to be very quick and we have vote and we have to
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be out of this room three minutes ago. >> okay. when i said that i mind my own business and try not to do anything to cause anyone to harm me, i mean like staying focused on school, coming home, being assured that i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing in life and not engaging in these kinds of activities. that's basically what i meant by that. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> jennifer? >> what i mean when i say some students are joining the gangs by force rather than choice is some students are raised in a neighborhood where there is mostly gangs around, so we live in a neighborhood when there is mostly gangs around. there's no other options but to join the gang. therefore, because some communities, there is gang members that -- it's -- so if you live in a community where that's the gang you're supposed to be in, that's the gang that you have to join. you can't join any other gang or
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you're risking your life. >> thank you all very much. thanks to congressman deutch and congresswoman wilson for organizing this. we will be working for you non-stop.
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thank you. [ applause ] if you missed any of the house democrats gun violence prevention task force hearing, we'll have it again for you tonight at sock p.m. eastern on c-span. also tonight, secretary of state
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mike pompeo briefs congress on his department's 2019 budget request. watch that at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. the secretary returns to capitol hill tomorrow for day two of testimony about the budget. this time before the senate foreign relations committee. we'll have live coverage of that at 10:00 a.m. eastern. this weekend on "after words," former national intelligence director james clapper with his book "facts and fears, hard truths from a life in intelligence." he's interviewed by house intelligence committee member democrat jim himes. >> what do you think the risks and opportunities are of the trump foreign policy which is radically different than the obama foreign policy? >> well, i've tried to look for areas where i could be supportive of president trump and his foreign policy, whatever it turns out to be. for example, i agreed with where
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he came out on afghanistan, and i know it was a teleprompter speech and all that, but it was -- i thought he said the right things, and we need to stay there, as undesirable as many may view that, so i felt that that was the right call. i supported president trump's acceptance of the invitation to have a sim mutt with kim jong-un. i don't know where that's going to go. there are all kinds of pitfalls, but why not try something different. >> watch "after words," sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2's book-tv. >> earlier today suzan lions, the ceo of the u.s. olympic committee, apologized to the athletes who were sexually abused and their families. the apology came during h

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