tv U.S. Senate Sens. Dubrin Cornyn on Guns CSPAN March 17, 2018 11:47am-12:21pm EDT
our lives rally calling on lawmakers to take action against gun violence in schools. the much takes place in washington dc. my coverage begins at noon eastern on c-span. >> dick durbin of illinois and john cornyn from texas gave separate speeches on gun policy and legislation. this is about 30 minutes. most people cannot remember what happened in the first grade. i have vague memories of being a first grader. there are certain things that even at that young stage in your life that will be remembered. but -- my sexual granddaughter who attends first grade in brooklyn, new york, a few weeks ago was told by a teacher what to do with a gunman came into
the first right of her classroom. toldttle granddaughter was don't stand by the windows, you could get shot. get down on the floor. is there any sane person in america who believes that's what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the second amendment to the bill of rights? that we would have reshaped one in america when the prospects of gun violence in the first grade classrooms all the way through collegehigh school and with account in reality -- a reality in america? in myt imagine anyone wildest dreams would have imagined that possibility. today is march 14, on february the 14th a gunmen went into a high school in parkland florida and killed 17 your 14 students have three members of the administration. that is not the first by any
means. killeds before, gunmen four and injured others. the list goes on and on. this government who went into parkland was not carrying a handgun. he was carrying an ar-15; automatic weapon which he was able to embellish with a clip high magazine high capacity magazine clip that could kill 30 people at a time. why? why on earth. would that man 19 years of age go out to buy a weapon that was created to be used by the military, the military assault legend, a weapon that sometimes never ine may need but individual american could need or want to buy for a legitimate sporting hunting purpose. but he did.
rep17 were dead after that -- rampage. killingslot of -- mass have become too common in america something happened there , something we saw across america today, high school students came out and enough we are fed up that the laws of this land is politicians who were -- who refuse to change it. sayre fed up with those who the second amendment requires us fear a march in towns across america today a march on washington, they have come to my office and visited with me and i believe they have become a major .orce in the national debate
i commend them and encourage them. i hope it will continue. ?hat can we do assume politics are tough. there are gun lobby that threaten the this of the members of congress if they don't get their way. they came after me when i was a member of the house. it was a tough election year i managed to survive it and they desperately tried to eat me. -- to beat me. some members of congress are not willing. you remember when president had the meeting, called in students and parents and others and he let the cameras roll continued the meetings so america would witness it. congress, members of
don't be scared of the nra, we have to do something. he came out universal back down check.ack -- background 97% of the american people agree with them. even -- keeping the hands of convicted felon. he also said why do we let someone 19 years all by a military assault weapon. i thought to myself what a great . here is the public president who is standing to become lobby and support positions that are overwhelmingly some boarded the american -- supported by the american people.
he came together with a senator from west virginia, and one that i think we should revisit. i felt so in herbst two weeks ago and -- encouraged two weeks ago and a couple of days later the nra came in for lunch and the president reversed his position. that is nothing new. i saw him do that on daca and dreamers. instead of universal background check guns out of the hands of those who misuse them they are supporting a bill which is good, fillst all we need, which some of the information gaps for purchasing firearms. 17 lives in that high school in florida are worth more than this
week response by the president. we must do better. at issue here is more than just a safety of high schools. a few weeks ago the day before the shooting in florida, an amazing member of the chicago police department name paul brouwer was downtown for a training session and heard on his radio that there was a fugitive is escaping. being a man of duty he responded to join in the pursuit and was cornered in a stairwell by a man pulled out a gun with a high capacity magazine, shot him times and killed him right in the stairwell. this was an amazing police officer with a great wife and daughter from bridgeport in
chicago. the city was in grief over the loss. trying to figure out where the gun came from, where did that criminal get that gun? it was purchased legally outside of the, wisconsin sold without a background check to another person who in turn sold it on the internet with no background check to a person with a record. of sony arrests and convictions. defined the system and made the argument again of why universal atkground checks not just federal license dealers but also at gun shows and on the internet are essential. not solve that problem. we must solve that problem. on the military assault weapons,
today at the senate judiciary committee we talked about the impact of an assault weapon and a bullet fired, cider bill who followedrida this terrible incident in parkland and has spoken out eloquently reminded us we are firing a bullet and a handgun means they bullet passes through your body and injures an organ, but fired a semi automatic weapon does dramatically more damage. the bullet may enter your body and comes out on the other side with a wound the size of an orange and in the process kabul's through your body ripping through tissue and artie creating a situation tot is sometimes impossible repair. why would anyone need a weapon like that?
we don't need it to go hunting. two on it just to own it, some do, they are collectors i imagine but opening those sales to 18, 19 and 20 year olds makes no sense whatsoever. that is what the students at parkland are saying today. i couldn't agree more. why do you need 30 rounds? why do you need 60 rounds? , it'ss that all about being used in weapons that are designed to kill other human beings, not just a few but many. bump stocks. las vegas, mass shooting, killing innocent people at a country western concert.
we had machine guns for decades but leave it to the firearm manufacturers, they found a way to create a mechanism that takes a semi automatic weapon and turned it into a automatic weapon where you can hold the trigger and it sprays until you empty the magazine with something called a bump stock. why haven't we passed a bill to ban these after what happened in las vegas. by the gunnate is lobby. teacher who testified before , what is itee today about the students in your school? why have they become such national leaders? inspirational on this issue and she said that's the way we trained them, to be part of
america where they could participate and be a leader. continuerage them to to put the pressure on all of us ,tarting with president trump who may switch his position again. he went for gun safety to the gun lobby position in the matter of days, maybe he will come back to a more reasonable position and put the pressure on congress also. more and more innocent americans get killed in the best we can come up with is that over 200 years ago when some men wrote our bill of rights, that second amendment gave the authority to individuals to buy anything they want to buy and the name of the right to bear arms. i know think that's what they had in mind at all. we cannot continue to let the nra and the gun lobby have veto
power over gun policy in america. we are facing and epidemic of violence with hundreds of american shot every day. from the commander in chicago to ,he kids in parkland, florida las vegas, the list goes on and on. we have to put the safety of our kids and neighborhoods ahead of just tolobby's agenda sell more guns. we have to have the courage of the senate to bring a bill to the floor and to open it to amendment. we don't do that anymore in the united states senate. there was the time where the senate was a deliberative body, but now it is not. the silence of the senate when it comes to the gun safety issue is deafening. well.ans know it the question now is whether we will do everything to reduce the number of shootings, to keep our communities safe and to spare more six-year-old first-graders
president, i listen to the remarks by our colleagues from illinois who is the democratic whip. i agree with the number of things he said and disagree with some others but i do think we need to keep this inappropriate contacts. we are talking about a provision of the bill of rights, the second amendment to the u.s. constitution. i hope we would never treat any of those essential guarantees of american rights that precede the creation of our government casually. protectportant that we according toghts, the dictates of our conscience, the right to petition our government for the redress of
government, the freedom of the press, those are also part of the bill of rights like the second amendment. there are a number of things that we can agree on and i have been talking about one of them for some time now, the fix nick's bill. laid -- labeled, the instant criminal background system. broken background check system and make sure that convicted felons, people who are dishonorably discharged from the military, adjudicated mentally ill or committed acts of ofestic violence and number other categories, make sure that they cannot legally purchase firearms. why? because current law prohibits it.
we have already passed those saw it sutherland springs, texas, 26 people lost their lives on sunday morning not long ago and 20 more lives were forever changed when they were shot by a government who whened and obtain firearms he was disqualified under the law from purchasing them. the fbi maintains the background check system and it wasn't their system is onlye as good as the information that is uploaded into the system. that's where you get a hit. that's when somebody goes into a store and tries to purchase a firearm and life -- lies, the system finds them and they are denied the purchase. that is how it is supposed to work. recently, the attitude seems to
be among some here in washington that this bill doesn't go far enough. there are other ideas that i am more that willing to debate and vote on and some of which i agree with. none have the sort of bipartisan consensus of support that this bill has. i told we are up to 70 bipartisan cosponsors. 70 out of 100 senators on a bipartisan basis support this fix to our broken background check system because they know that if it had worked the way congress intended 26 people would still be alive in sutherland springs, texas and 20 more who were shot and wounded would not have had to suffer those grievous injuries and a painful recovery.
if we only pass this we will be right here after the next shooting in nearly the same place. he said we will not have done our jobs. if there are other things that enjoy bipartisan consensus let's get it done. but if the attitude is we will vote on what we agree on because we want to do more we will never get anything done. what we haveh agreed on we are supporting, then we can work on other ideas in addition. at least 36 senate democrats have artie cosponsored this bill , 75% of the democratic caucus. the numbers have been rising and i hope they will go higher. ground --ful to the
democratic leader of new york, he is a cosponsor of this bill. , i have neverell seen a piece of legislative like gun rights, get such broad bipartisan support. it is the unique. we are to be grateful that we found a place where we have such broad bipartisan agreement, and a provision that will save lives. the shooter is sutherland springs had gone into the gun store and he lied, but the background check system works as it was supposed to work he would not happen in to legally purchase a gun.
each of these tragedies involves different circumstances. the shooters are different and obtain firearms in different ways and use them to perpetrate their crimes. i have talked about the shooter in sutherland springs who was convicted of a felony after choking and kicking his wife and .racking his stepsons skull he was discharged from the military other than honorably. he was detained at a mental health facility because he was mentally ill. he was able to lie his way into possession of these inearms, changing the world -- of families in sutherland springs, texas. he should have been prevented from purchasing that firearm. were it not for the breakdown and our background check system
he would not have a tainted. he would have been caught lying and trying -- possibly prosecuted and 26 people would be living their lives. people who were worshiping that sunday morning at the first baptist church would still be doing so in the same location to it has been turned into a memorial to those who lost their lives that day. this is presentable loss of life. that's more than enough reason to pass this will. -- this bill. if it saves lives it does plenty. if our system had worked properly and ensuring it does in pomeroy 14 and will year old daughter of the pastor
of the first of this church would still be here. a six-year-old boy who survived were not have been shot five times. it is incorrect to characterize and itll as a pittance is inaccurate to suggest that couldn't really do anything and that it is window dressing and maybe a political fig leaf that is false. tell the families that lost loved ones that day. they wish our background check system had lost the government -- government because it didn't. not true to say that washington has been absent not only in the wake of sutherland springs, las vegas and parkland. bum theseissue of du
attachments to a semi automatic riflep stocks. automatic rifle. if automatic weapons or are the illegal why would we want to attached to aance on turned into a -- automatic weapons. the president said they should be regulated by the atf and the unavailable. lost their lives in las vegas, 58 concertgoers lost their lives because of a man up in a hotel room shooting into a country concert. 851 people were injured. unbelievable the scope of the carnage.
we have also learned that mental are one of the reasons why people do these sorts of things, and we pass laws, a year ago last december called providing new authority for families when their loved one is becoming a danger to themselves or others, they can apply to a court to get assisted outpatient treatment to make sure they follow their doctors orders and they take their medication. we train law enforcement how to save lives in the event of an active shooter incidents by training. that the problem at sutherland springs was the federal government had not uploaded the information into systemkground check which had prevented the purchase of this firearm. in the states the problem is
present as well. in ohio we learned there had fromconvection records torts one of allowed those purchase those in violation of the law. since the shooting in texas the department of defense has retroactively uploaded 4000 additional records into the background check system of those dishonorably discharged from the military. prohibited under current law from purchasing firearms but the military did not upload them nobody would ever now and they would lie and be able to purchase firearms. since 2015 the number of people barred from owning firearms because they were disjunct dish discharges were around 11 thousand people according to fbi
statistics. it stands now to over 15,000. ther evidence that background check system is not working the way it was supposed to. we need to make sure that federal agencies are uploading these records as they are required to do. we are taking action in other ways, i am also cosponsoring a bill called the next denial .otification act it will alert state law enforcement about people who people go in-- and lie in the background system catches them but that is never reported to law enforcement agencies but it would be if that legislation passed. when people do this their actions may be indicative of
criminal behavior. that's why the bill would insist that state police be notified within 24 hours. the attorney general has announced the u.s. attorneys will be instructed to more peopleively enforce lying on background checks. i think it will contribute to the safety -- saving of lives. -- justice department will increase the presence of law enforcement officers in schools. parklandhe shooting at was a catastrophic failure in almost every level. system, toation local law enforcement to the local fbi to help providers. looking back on the shooter he was intervened with by local law
enforcement about 40 times. light, a blinking red people should have paid attention. and done something about it. now we are trying to make sure that they have the resources and the training necessary to intervene when people are a danger to themselves and others. the way we will do that is to offered by senator hatch the stop school violence act which will authorize $50 million annual form -- for safety improvements, and training students on how to prevent violence and develop anonymous reporting systems. giving schools money for physical improvements such as metal protectors -- detectors. we are to get it done. and get it done now.
-- feelt merely take like we are making a difference, we must make a difference. one way we can do this is by passing this bill. a community of victims rights groups, law enforcement officers and prosecutors sent a letter to the minority and majority leaders asking them for a vote on a clean version of this before the upcoming easter recess. key said it would improve elements of a background check violence, thatc is an important point. so much of the gun violence we see in america is in the context of domestic violence. people violating protective aders, people assaulting
person they are married to or living with. we need to focus on that and do something about it. rightsoup of victims advocates, law enforcement call it ad prosecute andrtisan common sense noncontroversial bill. why can't we pass it? why can't we do it today? it made a point to note that the full should be clean. i think they are right. i hope that all of this would listen to this good advice and get this done. we try to get an agreement a couple of weeks ago, if we did it today it would pass this afternoon but there was an objection to doing so.
weing there are other things need to do also. perhaps there is true. but to condition what can pass and what does enjoy broad support and what would save ,ives on things that will pass that are not achievable means that we have a strategy of either everything or failure which usually ends up with us going back home empty-handed, having nothing to show for our efforts. the people we represent deserve better. this institution should step up and listen to those who are calling upon us to do something, and doing something that will save lives while respecting the rights of all americans under the constitution. i yield the floor. >> next saturday students from around the country are expected to take part in a large for our
lives rally calling on lawmakers to take action against gun violence in schools. the large take place in washington dc. live coverage will begin at new eastern on c-span. >> on wednesday students from the d.c. area to our and the tok out at the u.s. capitol demand action by congress on gun policy and school safety. speakers included high school students, nancy pelosi, chuck and johnbernie sanders lewis. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. we want change. we