tv Gun Violence Prevention Task Force CSPAN May 23, 2018 10:00pm-11:44pm EDT
the public service i america's cable television companies. and, today, we bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. students whose schools experienced some violence spoke on capitol hill. we hear from students from marjory stoneman douglas high school, and other schools. this event was organized by the house democrats and violence prevention task force. [applause]
>> [indiscernible] it is so amazing to have all of you here and i'm just waiting to listen to what you have to say. we are calling this, "let the children speak because we are always talking to you and speaking to you" and, sometimes we do not listen. so today, we will listen. members of congress will be listening to you. bear starting to come to take their seats in places and these chairs to listen to what you have to say. thank you so much for coming.
first off, western. right, where is miami high? [laughter] where is miami high? where is miami central? where is north miami? where is miami carol city? where is hallendale. this is our newest chapter for howard county. thank you so much, this is great. you made it! [applause] you all for coming and forng the responsibility escorting this many boys to d.c.. you do it every year, but this
is a very, special group. a special group that has come with a special message to america. and the parkland kids, where are they? did they come yet? stoneman douglas? i guess they're on their way. >> they're on their way. >> they're on their way. thank you so much. [applause] >> before we get started, i like everyone to take their seat. thank you for coming. i am mike thompson, and as chair of the gun violence prevention task force, i'm proud to welcome our panelists and i want you to know that our members of congress are with us today are interested to hear about your work and your advocacy to reduce gun violence in our communities. just a bit of housekeeping we need to take care of, we are 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 opening 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 each of you for four minutes. after we hear from the young leaders, we'll recognize members of congress in the order in which they arrived today. a fourmber will get minute block of time for remarks and questions. and i want to remind the members from the panel, the answers 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 a plague 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, eight students into 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. [indiscernible] both shot in their chest while playing in their front yard last week. thankfully they all survived. thousand of other children's
-- there are thousands of other children that haven't been as fortunate. 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. should schools be hardened and redesigned to have one entrance? do we need more police officers in schools? maybe we should create more memontoring 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 perpetuated by elicited drug trade in our city. 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. >> 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. alfonso called iran, 11th calduran,me school -- 11th grader, same school. al jennifer daniel from richard montgomery high school.
deborah russell. taylor noorwood from king high, high school. and we will hear from three minutes from representative deutsche and then we'll go right to the panel starting with charlie. >> thank you. we have one more who is also here, and we appreciate that. 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 at the 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 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 -- isn't a distant 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.
and while this is not a drill, it is a test. this moment is a test of our institutions and the people that 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 .ebate when we have it i welcome you and i'm so grateful for you being with us 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 see it as a mad city. 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 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 affect 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 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. it matters that 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 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 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. -- people i considered family, completely traumatized possibly for the rest of their lives. we went into a closet and had to hours, it feltur like, in a closet it was about 95 degrees on a hot february 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. but 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. 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. and 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. jennifer. >> good afternoon. my name is jennifer. i'm 17 years old. i'm a junior. 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
leaves their family -- forces their family to scramble to safety. because of cramped housing conditions -- because of cramped housing conditions, it is very easy for shooters 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 their bikes because someone might start shooting. that's no way to live. there was a four-year-old girl from the city who 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 experience at stoneman douglas happened on their campus. we don't worry about someone coming into our school and shooting up our school. in fact, when we're planning a walk to mourn for our friends that were shot to death, 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 feel like i am becoming immune. there are so many kids that are being taken. -- there are so many kids lives that are being taken. last month, four boys were on 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 have not directly anyrienced or encounter form of gun violence. 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 house but it wasn't church. a hail of bullets rained down on their car. tyrrell was with his brother who was involved in a lot of bad stuff and he lost his life that 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 should look at life at full of limitless possibilities even think this way. after the parkland 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 were 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 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. when i was younger, i used to love to count sheep to help me fall asleep. but now i lay on the bed count -- bed and count 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. but i cannot say that about my friends. i'm tired of losing friends who i went to middle school with, shared dreams about great futures that we planned for our lives. african americans make up 19% of miami-dade county population. 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 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 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. 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. >> good afternoon. 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
is a month. and on three separate occasions , there have been tried -- driv e-bys and shootings in the same year on my street. gunman shot up a house and in one instance, the missed the target. instead, they want up killing the 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, 2017, my friend, who i've known since i was five, he was shot and killed right in front of his house with his family and side. he had just received his diploma, 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 incidents were unfair and unnecessary. but, also, i feel kind of desensitized to it, which disappoints me. school shootings shouldn't happen so often that they be -- that they cease to be 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 would cause someone to want to harm me. think no one can come into my school with a gun, and i feel safe on my campus in for the faculty. but we do have a lockdown procedure in place. all doors are locked, windows are closed, lights are turned
off and students remain silent. my hope for the future is that teens who have a mindset to be leaders will encourage their friends to stay as far away from this as possible, as far away from violence that will prematurely end their lives. parents should never have to bury the children. it should only be the other way around. thank you for listening. >> [applause] >> daniel? daniel: good afternoon, everyone. my name is daniel golilo and senior in rockfield, maryland. thank you for allowing me to address you today. my involvement with the student movement pushing to end gun violence began the day of the shooting at marjory stoneman douglas in parkland, florida. when i heard about the shooting , i was frustrated, angry, and upset. i knew action was needing to be taken. i was not going to wait around for someone to take that action
for me. the day after the shooting i began organizing. i would end up leading a student walked 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 issue of gun control and ending gun violence. getting more students involved in the movement, and even appearing on "hardball." i was frustrated and upset when i heard about the parkland shooting, but i was not surprised. these massacres have become all too common. we as a nation have become numb to them. columbine happened one year before i was born. sandy hook happened when i was in 7th grade. the pulse nightclub shooting happened during my sophomore year of high school. 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 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 who is 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. 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 will be decided by how and when lawmakers choose to answer that question. there is so much that congress can be doing to curb the senseless violence, however the powers that be will not allow this conversation to be had on the house or senate floor. this should not be a political issue. bullets do not discriminate. they affect us all in the same way whether we are republicans, democrats, or independents. why can we not put our differences aside 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 by a shooting or gun violence in order to realize that something needs to be done to stop this
bloodshed. 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. >> [applause] taylor?rman: taylor: good afternoon, everyone. my name is taylor norwood. i'm a 18-year-old student in chicago, illinois. and i am a member of the chicago collective, good kids, mad city. i come to you with a heavy 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 after their graduation, the same day as a shooting in santa fe high school in texas, where 8 students and two teachers lost their lives and 13 were injured. they also have my support. the brave students of marjory stoneman douglas rallied millions of people across the country to stand against gun violence. our schools are places to build relationships and bond, where learning and growth should be our only concerns. 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. not when teens can easily obtain guns and shoot up 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 demands concerning my beloved city. just this weekend in chicago, 17 people were shot. where is the national out cry -- outcry 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 gun violence. and last year, more than 600. we call ourselves good kids
, mad city, 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 is not. his answer was to send in the feds. he wants to further criminalize black and brown youth and i'm he only cares if we are dead or in jail. this isn't what we want. safety doesn't involve police and metal detectors in our schools. we know filling up the prison won't stop the violence in our communities. we have seen that over the past couple of decades. 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 our communities. manuel 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 -- support community revitalization and implement restorative justice. we need elected officials to vote for bills that have federal jurisdictions to prevent guns from coming into illinois from states with lax gun laws. if we care about the children and the teens in chicago and baltimore, then we will make sure that money is invested in community centers, mental health trauma-informed schools. in illinois, we spent more time locking up children in juvenile detention centers, than we do for them to go to schools in low income neighborhoods. on the west side of chicago, which has some of the highest rates of gun violence, wants to spendm emmanuel wants to
$95 million on a police academy , instead of investing it in our communities and creating jobs for youth. our experiences are different. we have had to deal with racism and oppression and we are tired of not being valued and criminalized like we are not worthy to breathe in this country. if you truly care you'll be , doing all you can to save our lives and understand the violence we experience can be prevented if we have fewer prisons and police and more investment in our youth, our education, and our communities. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> [applause] thank you all for your wonderful testimony. i would like to recognize nancy pelosi. speaker pelosi: -- pelosi: thank you to all
the members of that task force and other members of congress of the house who are here. all democrats. i wish it were bipartisan. your legislation 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, 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 distance 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 violence prevention. it's not enough to say to do it, to the cdc, you have to have resources, restraining orders that many of you have suggested. they would 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 prevention 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 or students with disabilities in the school to prison pipeline, arming teachers risks more violence. cutting more than one quarter of the budget for national background system is dangerous. and thank you again mr. chairman for your leadership and that of the task force in increasing that funding. the gop calls for thoughts and prayers. yes we want to be in everyone's thoughts and prayers, but that is not a 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 the nra and a lot of the gun lobby, that's what our members of congress, republican members are afraid of? what about the fear that children have in their communities, in their schools, in their neighborhoods? survival, io their say to my colleagues, is nowhere as important compared to the personal survival of america's children. let's put things in order. enough is enough. thank you all for adding to the debate, giving us more grounds to go forward. and for the impatience of youth. i know what will i've never felt happen. you are the tipping this way so point.
much before. you give us hope. thank you. and i yield back. >> [applause] chairman: because we got started late with the votes, i will wave my time for questions -- waive my time for questions. we will reduce the time to three minutes per member. weas quick as you can and will get through as many questions as we can. thank you, mike, for your leadership, and also leader pelosi. i hearstudents, i ask, you on your ideas and the proposals you put forward, and you articulately talked about believing a school is a place of safety. that is a binary thing. either you feel safe or you don't.
hearing each of you say you don't feel safe, what would make you feel safe? what can we do would make you feel safe? charlie? charlie: on any given day, i personally feel safe, but you never know what is going to happen. there are all sorts of personal feelings that can pass. you never know what is going to happen. what would make me feel safe would be if tragedies like this would happen and something would actually happen. nothing has happened on the national scale. in the past 24 years, it has only gotten worse. it has been a wild and still nothing is happening. -- a while and nothing has happening.
the legislation -- nothing is passing on the national scale. there are people right now saying "no" to us, people that are refusing to help us. to happen, it it would have already happened. ands all about priorities, clearly it is not being prioritized. checksal background would make all of us feel safer if we knew that everyone we knew who had a gun had to go through a background check. i don't see what the difference is on where you buy a gun. no matter where you buy it, you should go through the same process. it shouldn't be so much easier to buy a gun than getting
a drivers license. that is really reasonable. there are a lot of policies that i think would be implemented that wouldn't exactly make us feel safer, but would make us safer. >> thank you. as we go to be vote in november, stay brave. don't let them intimidate you. you are showing up. be brave. chairman: i want to call on mr. hastings, from florida. hastings: thank you. and myou to all of you dear friend frederica as well, and ted deutsche.
although each one of you won't get a chance to speak today, we hear you from your representatives and the parents. [applause] rep. hastings: we thank you all. the parents and teachers and loved ones that are with you here today, as well as the students from our area. two things that could very well be helpful. gentlemen, you all please be seated. there are some things i think you can do since you are interconnected on social media. i suggest to all of you that you put on paper and video your
orughts, form a foundation utilize one of the ones already in existence, and make a video and use thatl it, money to do all the things you need to do. is voter registration, and being in a position to show up. you are making a difference and he will make an even greater difference -- you will make an even greater difference in november. at theways the skunk picnic. my colleagues have had the same feelings i have had, but wouldn't express them this way. 26 measures pending by various members that are a variety of reasonable
restrictions on guns. please note that on each of they are either sponsored or cosponsored by democrats, not one republican. even though republicans are affected, please note the people twosee in this room -- republicans asked me what this tie was. i told them meetings -- thi meetings was going on downstairs. there are other republicans that could have been here. it is going on around this nation and it needs to be clearly understood. don't lead the -- let the nra become a shield against gun manufacturers, the progenitors of the epidemic of violence in this country. i must respectfully ask all of
you to register to vote and then vote. you want to know by now who to vote for. thank you. mr. chairman: fantastic. >> [applause] rep. esty: thank you, mr. chairman. i represent newton, connecticut. this is not the way a country behaves. you spoke eloquently about feeling safer on the streets than in schools. that is wrong and we need to do something about it. it is wrong you should have to go through metal detectors to go
to class. it is wrong you should be hiding in a closet, going to sleep counting gunshots and not she. this promise is not that hard. the answers are there. ofis the political will people in this building that prevented that. i had to step a way for a few reporter was calling me about a proposal that the administration is ofroducing, to move the sale assault weapons out of the state department for approval, to put it in commerce, a promotion of guns around the world. who think that is a good idea? you want to have more of what we are dealing with? i don't think so. voices, were marching in the street or in the classroom, getting all your friends to vote, and holding people young people lead to the end of the vietnam war.
o ng people led the charge lgbtq equality. i have more faith that this will change because of you. thank you for what you are doing, and no that we stand beside you -- know that we stand beside you. and al take you to lead shame the adults of this country, who has been quaking in the way that you have, and closets and in bedrooms. that is wrong, and it needs to change. thank you very much. >> [applause] kelly? rep. kelly: thank you all for coming and your bravery. you can easily stay in chicago or in parkland or and -- or in
maryland, and not share your have sharedt you your thoughts and ideas with us. it is interesting some of you feel safer in their communities, and others feel safer in your youols, depending on where live. you were definitely speaking truth to power. guys to hold each other's hand and give each other support. we hear a lot about mass shootings, but we don't hear a lot about the everyday things that go on in neighborhoods. you have each other's back, because moms and dads and children have lost their moms and dads. getguys have got to together. the either thing congressman hastings talked about was legislation. do more around
police-community relations. in chicago, 17% of unsolved people don'te trust the police into the police don't trust the people. and the police trust the people. we have been teaching parents how to parent. all of that goes into a safer world, a safer neighborhood. we have to keep on pushing and keep us accountable and exercise your right to vote. thank you. >> [applause] >> thank you. rep. bonamici: thank you for
each and everyone one of you to share your stories. monday was the anniversary a student in oregon shot two people and wounded 24 at a high school. that was 24 years ago. issue for thean entire generation. we know what needs to be done. keep speaking up and being involved. i want to ask you tqwo questions. a student i spoke with recently said the first thing she does in a classroom is she looks for a place to hide and escape. you have talked about code yellow. how is this affecting your ability to learn and focus? arestudents said there students who want to talk to a counselor or seek health care. counselors are too busy and there is too much of a stigma so they don't get the health care they need.
what can we do about that? go ahead and answer. mr. chairman: start right on the line and the real quick. maybe everyone will get a chance to answer. charlie: when the arguments used is that there are not enough facts to prove -- one of the arguments used is there are not enough facts to prove gun control works. in 2018, more servicemen have died -- students and schools have died been active serviceman in the middle east. that changes the way i think about learning and going to school. if i were to be drafted right i would have a higher chance of surviving. i don't understand how this is even a conversation. 42nd question for students who need help but are afraid to get it -- the second question for
students who need help but are afraid to get it, this is enough resources. i am from florida, which is 50th in mental health funding. i am privileged. i am not what the students on other sides of the panel who don't even have counselors. we were extremely underfunded. all we got were therapy dogs. they are notbut making me get over the fact of february 14. yr. chairman: malachi, an comments? >> i definitely feel that the makeyellows, it doesn't our school feels like a school. it more feels like a prison. you have to ask before you can go anywhere and have identification around your neck
and security is constantly stopping you. tension overthe the academic level. you are focused on, if i come today, will i be in danger? if you hear a door slammed hard, you jump. programs that proactively reach out to the youth would be a solution. funding definitely for those , mentorship, and representative programs as well. in my school, we have tutoring, dinner, and transportation to use afterward.e things like that keep the youth out of the streets and have them
do something productive with their time. thank you. >> [applause] mr. chairman: thank you, everyone. rep. langevin: thank you, everyone, and the chairman and nancy pelosi for organizing this. i hope you will continue to make your voices heard and amke sure -- make sure these laws are enacted. make sure you get registered to vote and your peers and others in the community get registered. ou want strong background checks and elgislation passed.
that should be a no-brainer. i want to do everything we can to keep guns out of the wrong hands. want to make sure that those who need help actually get it with stronger metnal health programs. i know something about the damage guns can do. i was a police cadet. it should have been one of the safest of places, around trained experts. officer's-- gun went off and the bullet went through my neck and severed my spinal cord. when i hear about arming teachers, that is something i am opposed to. sure thato make
doesn't happen to someone else. accident, nots an an act of violence. but even legal firearms can be used to devastating effect. bullets don't have eyes. one of the things we need to do is make sure those who do own guns are required to be responsible and make sure they are kept locked up and away from children. that is why i am introducing legislation to promote the expansion of child access prevention laws in every state. these laws hold gun owners criminally liable, and provides funding to states annexed and strong laws to protect children over 18. ct strong laws to
protect children over 18. deals to include safe storage information with every sale. gunsld like to make sure don't get into the wrong hands and no one can use them to devastating effect, all the things i have outlined. hope you will pressure congress to make sure these laws get enacted. mr. chairman: thank you very much. mr. zukowski? rep. schakowsky: i came to
congress right before columbine was born -- right before columbine, before you were born. i thought this was it. you can imagine how much time has passed. i think with you, high school students, the nra has finally met its match. >> [applause] schakowsky: i believe in my cart you are the game changers. i feel the frustration. how come we haven't seen legislation? i will do that, and when it happens, it is because of you. taylor, thank you so much for your powerful statement. you talked about good kid, mad city. good kids who want to leave in peace -- live in peace and safety and meaningful lives have to face this harsh reality of
your communities imposed on you by irresponsible adults. you mentioned the closing of schools and mental health clinics in your community. what are you suggesting to us that we needed to do, -- we need to do, instead of those kinds of things happening in your communities? we are ready to listen to you take your lead. aylore: in my city on the west is planning to invest $95 million to train cops, but essentially, it is more so they can put them in school. and the study of violence we have in chicago is not going to be resolved by more police officers, as we have seen
with the news stories of another black violence laid in the street, another mom who has to come home to an empty bedroom of a child they have raised for how many years. in the past year alone, the hundreds ofosed schools. you tell students they are go to school where they feel safe. they don't feel safe. violence happens on every street, every corner, no matter where you are or who you are. instead of putting this money toward mental health institutions, recreational centers, hospitals, trauma schools transportation, that don't have textbooks, updated technology -- we are
spending $95 million on police officers and they are not helping at all. my city is considered a war zone, because we are at war, all the time. every time used outside your door, you never know if you are going to make it back. when you come from a city like mine that is riddled with violence and crime, all the time, for the youth to have a and forward is to sit here have the government that promises to protect us to tell us there is nothing to be done and the issue is simply self-control -- that is unzip -- that is unacceptable. >> i look forward to working with robin kelly and others for that agenda. mr. chairman: mr. scott? rep. scott: thank you to the
representatives for convening the panel and mr. thompson and the anti-pelosi for adopting it as a democratic priority. we have been working on this. unfortunately, you cannot get republicans to participate. we have studied the issue. limiting magazines, investing in mental health, universal background checks, proactive prevention programs, models of excellence. those are the kinds of things we have been working on. we need pressure from the leadershipmake the bring up some of these bills. we have heard about police not preventing the crime.
we need investments that they will reduce crime. there are reports on the effects of exposure to violence on future behavior. we know that those who have been exposed to violence are more likely to be the future perpetrators or victims. i would like to ask the services, what kind of are available to you after exposure to violence, and whether or not these services were sufficient? >> services provided after tragic events usually pertain to grief counselors. they are there for a day or two in my neighborhood, which is insufficient. i would like to propose a civilian review board towards the community event officers that service their community.
we have seen it too many times where officers that serve the community they are employed and mistreat the people that live in it. i would like to propose a social justice program in schools to provide students with a voice, so that we should be exposed to policymakers, lawyers, people in organizations that can introduce us to this way of american life. >> thank you. mr. chairman: ms. jackson-lee? rep. jackson-lee: thank you very much. thank you to the chairman and leader pelosi. i am moved to be here. thank you to the garnet task force for the enormous work you are doing. here is what i would like to give you as a gift. forhool that is a sanctuary
learning and enjoying and wherecting with friends, you don't have to worry about individuals asking you about your identification, and you can walk and do your athletics and turning and dancing and all you can do. don't you think you should have that kind of atmosphere in your schools? i can't hear you. >> [laughter] lee: we think you are the number one priority in terms of safety. we have legislation to ban bump stocks, remember that? and i joined my colleague on boxes. for theauthorizations juvenile block grant and dealing with bullying prevention, so the money that flows into school districts work on civic participation and getting people to understand bullying is not something they have to do to survive. -- where ask daniel
-- were you the one they were driving to church? daniel and malachi. you were stressed -- you were strong. i would like to suggest an open letter signed by as many of you as possible asking why he has not put gun legislation on the floor of the house to vote right now. >> [applause] lee: the letter should go directly to him saying, put this legislation on the floor. would you be welcome to do that? daniel: last friday, four of my friends were arrested in front of his office. hise then, we have flooded voicemail. he controls the voting agenda and he won't put any of this stuff on the floor.
that is murder. he is allowing children in this country to be gunned down in classroom because he will not down ingunned classrooms because he will not take legislative action. lee: if you could have as many people find it -- sign it, online, i'd appreciate it. i was attending vigils for santa fe -- people in santa fe, in my area. malachi, say that again. children were going to church and they got shot? malachi: they were going to pick up my brother, and he could have been in the car. he lives with the feeling it could have or should have been him. lee: what happened to those children in the car? malachi: his best friend passed away from the shooting.
too many political leaders have to teach you the skills to succeed in life. the people in this room are committed to that. we are inspired by you. malachi, i think your words were closing, to repeat them. be brave, be bold, act now. the people of this room stand with you and we will try to act. we take strength from you as you speak out. thank you. >> [applause] you.hairman: thank representative kildee? you to the: thank young people who are participating. the nra has met its match when
it comes to this question. you have incredible power and you have already demonstrated that. i encourage you to continue. the one request i make is to invite you as you come here to go to the places around the country where students are looking for ways to become involved. you have provided a locked of inspiration. -- al lot of inspiration. i have met with students in my home communities, and i would to organize helped all across the country these young people looking to get involved and engage. my colleagues here me talking about my hometown all the time. an.m from flint, michig i am sure many of you have heard
about the terrible crisis there. twelve people have died since the water was poisoned. same time, 164 people lost their lives to gun violence. the crisis in flint was all over the newspapers. congress acted and the government stepped up to put half $1 billion on the table to deal with the crisis that ultimately killed 12 people. what has happened as a result of all the terrible tragedies you have had to experience? nothing. there is a reason.
it is because there is an interest group that steps in the way every time we get close to taking action. bump stock ban right after the las vegas , ready to go, until one organization decided they could veto action by congress. we can't give them that power. you are in a position to take that power from that. do you have a message to the other young people around the country trying to find their voice? do you have a message i could carry back to the kids of flint? daniel? involved however you can, whether or not there is any sort of organizing infrastructure there. create an infrastructure and do whatever you can, write letters,
rep. tonko: thank you to those who conducted the event today. let me patriot butte to the student power -- pay tribute to the student power. >> [applause] tonko: you are a force out there. i believe there are political generations. you have eclipsed previous on gun safety and school safety issues. you have witnessed it and are asking for action, and have given birth to this new generation. all age groups have individuals
that don't submit to that agenda of the majority. my question to you is, amongst your age group, to further empower your voices, how do we convert your peers that don't agree with this agenda? are there those you have networked with that say, i disagree, and i would like to hear what that most frequent disagreement is about? if we continue to grow the numbers, the forcefulness of the statement overwhelms the opponents in this town. taylore: i would say the most important part of getting other youth involved and on track is acknowledgment. a lot of kids don't see anything
wrong with what is going on. children walk around and the whole -- their whole lives, they have no clue, because these tragedies have happened so often we have become desensitized to them, not realizing that your children and grandchildren will read about them in the textbooks and be horrified. they don't see adult stepping in to make it an issue. when we do things like this, take actions like this, it seems it seems like every time we take a step forward, we are pushed three steps back. accountability and involvement needs to increase. chairman: we have five more members who want to say something and about four more
minutes to do it. i will ask you to briefly make your statement and we can follow up with the young leaders. johnson, ms., shea-porter, mr. green, and mr. jeffries, in that order? lowenthal: thank you to the gun violence prevention task force for organizing this important for him. i have been traveling to schools and my districts to meet with students like yourselves. i am so impressed and moved by them as we speak. i keep saying to them, i am older than most of the people here. i remember the 1960's and was an myself. students like yourself stopped a war and led to a president not
running for reelection and joined with martin luther king, and these students led it to civil rights movement. i'm so proud of you. just want to thank you for being here. mr. chairman: thank you, mr. beyonce? mr. johnson? rep. johnson: i want to thank the opportunity for you to come and testify before congress and tell us what's on your minds. we have heard your cries, we have heard your pleas. commend you for the courage, the tenacity you display on these issues and also heart for your fellowman and as i hope as you grow older, thewould never lose
you have now, that you oocket. on it. to be totally different than the at.s you're looking things get so bad for the people after you that they you're doing.t thank you all and register to november. .r. chairman: ms. shea-porter in. shea-porter: when i was high school, everyone was afraid because that meant we had to go to vietnam until we weren't that we
helpless. yesterday i asked the secretary ms. devos, to come to us and talk about school safety and she would not commit that. i think you know what we need to do. we need to work on school safety. need to make sure all of you are protected wherever you are. you have the right to want to in school because it's a safe place and in your neighborhoods because it's safe. thank you. remember, quite courage, activism. change theng to world. mr. chairman: mr. green? is. green: friends, this about the speaker of the house. if the speaker of the house can't bring gun legislation to the house, then the speaker of the house needs to leave the house. speaker of the house ought if he can't bring the legislation to the floor. it's about him.
[applause] and to those who say the solution is a good guy with a that in writing, sign your name to it, file it as a bill. vote. let's have the people of the united states of america know this sillyand on fatuous 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 take action. us to [applause] mr. chairman: mr. jeffries? rep. jeffries: thank you to all the members of the task force. afternoon. it's an honor and privilege to be here with you. great country, government of the people, by the people, for the people. we've come a long way and have a long way to go. majorms of dealing with societal change brought about within the last 100 years if not always america, it's
come as a result of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of young now in thiso generation i'm confident with your continued engagement -- and and i'm blessed, we all are -- by your voices, that solve once ands for all the gun violence epidemic in america. mr. chairman: thank you very much. do is i'm going to going to call on mr. dois and ms. wilson for brief closing remarks. dois: taylore, i want you when ourhat grandchildren read in their affairsout the state of that existed and what was allowed to go in this country, be are right, they will mortified. the they will read about you andof people like
from parkland and chicago and theycross the country and will be grateful they no longer live in that world. that's number one. two, let's be clear, we will pass common sense gun safety legislation. it might not happen now but with your leadership it will happen. to askstion we have ourselves is do we care enough about our community to provide andrtunity for everyone making the investments we need to make that a number of you talked about in community health and mental centers, after-school activities, dropout prevention activities. in doing what frederico wilson has done as the model, are we prepared to do it? there are, if i understand this correctly, there are 8,000 the 5,000 miles of 105 schools. there are 6,000 volunteers. if we are serious about caring for our community and making
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 and enormousilson debt of gratitude for the example that she has set and all of you have set. thank you very much. [applause] mr. chairman: thank you and ms. wilson to close. wilson: just a footnote on that, representative deutch, we have just moved into broward county so we're going to expect with that effort and also parkland will be involved in that. have a chapter in jacksonville, florida. inhave chapters st. petersburg, florida, and michigan.n detroit, this was supposed to be the children speaking so i have two children.for two davory, you mentioned that you
ownned to mind your 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 gang by force instead of by choice. can you explain more about that? of force and where does it come from? let's start with devery. mr. chairman: you're going to have to be very quick because we have votes and have to be out of room three minutes ago. devery: when i said i mind my business and try not to do anything to cause them to harm me, i mean staying focused on school and coming home, doing what i need to do and not engaging in these activities. that. what i meant by mean by is some join by force rather than choice is because some students are
raised in a neighborhood where there are mostly gangs around so we live in neighborhoods where there are mostly gangs around, there are no other options and for you to join the gang. therefore -- because some communities, there is gang ifbers, there's each gang so you live in a community where this is the gang you're supposed to be in, that's the gang that to join. you can't join any other gang or life.sk your mr. chairman: thank you all very much. andks to congressman deutch congresswoman wilson for organizing this. be working forll you non-stop. thank you. [applause] [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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c.e.o. of the susannempic committee, susanne lyons, apologized to the victims of abuse. congressman greg harper chairs subcommittee. >> the hearing will come to order. subcommittee on oversight and investigations is holding a hearing entitled examining the olympic community's ability to protect athletes from sexual abuse. here because recent events have highlighted a very troubling and concerning pattern sexual misconduct within the u.s. olympic community. a systemic failure in the system to protect in hows, including allegations of sul misconduct have been handled