tv U.S. Senate Sen. Durbin on Mass Shooting at Texas Church CSPAN November 6, 2017 6:35pm-6:48pm EST
be a light in the darkness and the families whose lives are forever changed by this atrocity and show a strong shoulder of support. mr. president i yield the floor. and i know the absence of a quorum. >> another gun massacre, horrible circumstances. i came to the floor did say a word to friends and family that are shared by all of us. it's heartbreaking to think that some person so demented, so unusual would come into a setting and kill innocent people.l this man that reportedhe shooter devon kelly used an assault rifle to kill 26 people in southerland springs texas
wounding 20 others and the victims ranged in an age 18 months to 77 years. about a dozen of those who were killed were children and they included the daughter of the church's pastor. the shooter reportedly drove up to the church wearing a low approved fast tactical gear and began firingng in the parking lt butre he entered the church at some point a some point of local residents who live near the b church began firing back n the shooter then drove off with two residents in pursuit eventually crashing his car eventually dying of a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted. president trump and others have said this exchange of fire with citizens responding to save lives shows that the policy response to the shooting should be to arm more good guys with guns. let us not forget that 46 people were shot before the citizens came on the scene.
now this reported shooter, 26 years old had served in the u.s. air force from 2010 until 2014 working in majestic's. 2012 he was court-martialed or could -- assault on his then wife and child that he was kind sentence to confinement for 12 months and received a bad conduct discharge in and 2014. he remarried in 2014 and it worked as an unarmed security guard. he reportedly bought for guns onone each of 2014 and 2017 to three of those weapons the assault rifle which he used in this crime and two handguns were found at the scene said local law enforcement said the shooter was likely motivated by a domestices situation, his wife's grandmother was one of the victims. there are so many things to come to mind but first and foremost is grief that we all feel and sorrow for the families that were affected. it's so sad that people go to
church on sunday they are not safe from this gun violence and gun massacres that are occurring way too frequently across the united states. very things that we need to do and only we can do it, congress, to make the laws better and safer. respect the 2nd amendment. i respect the fact that there are men and women in my family, friends and people i represent across illinois to own guns and use them safely and responsibly. we have sportsmen and hunters and my family. we have people who buy guns for sporting purposes, for self-defense and they store the guns carefully and safely. they take it very seriously that they are dealing with a deadly weapon. they don't want anyone innocent to be hurts. i respect that very much. i think we all should but i also call on them now, they need to lead us into a more sensible policy when it comes to gun
safety. the owners of firearms overwhelmingly when they are asked to believe that we should have comprehensive background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those of misuse them. overwhelmingly the majority of gun owners feel that way as most americans feel great likely due back? we certainly know that is within our power. in my state of illinois, the city of chicago we have reached 600 gun deaths this weekend for the year. the highest number in over a decade. it's heartbreaking and that doesn't include those who were injured by being shot as well. where are these guns coming from? we cannot have a gun store in the state of chicago, that's true but when it comes to purchasing guns it makes no difference. suburbs have plenty of gun dealers and of course their gun shows in neighboring states like indiana. we also know that the gun stores
which are in the suburbs of chicago they supplied 25% of the identified crime guns and we know many of those were sold in what's known as a straw purchase sold to someone who could not legally qualify to buy a gun but buys one for someone who is not legally qualified, a girlfriend or someone who buys a gun because she has no criminal record so her boyfriend can usee it and misuse it and kill innocent people. can't we toughen that law to make it a law where their real penalties for straw purchases? anyone who wants to use a gun and responsibleib fashion, thats one thing we can do. the gun show loophole we know columbine and other places it was the gun show loophole that opened the way for the purchaseo of guns which killed innocenthi people. let's do something about that. we should. if we are serious we should. we also know we have
prohibitions in the 1996 lautenberg amendment preventing abusers from buying guns
in a twice to military personnel. questions need to be answered about the shooter in texas and what have and after he was court-martialed for domestic abuse in the air force in 2012. how does he purchase a gun after that in violation of the lautenberg amendment? we need to also ask why in the world anyone needs to own an assault weapon. i understand people buy rifles shotguns and handguns for self-defense and sporting but why does anyone need to own a military style weapon when they can be converted as we found in las vegas to a weapon that discharges 100 rounds in seven seconds. that's totally unnecessary for any legitimate legal purse -- purpose. it's available perhaps for military use and perhaps for law enforcement but not for the
ordinary american citizen who would purchase and own a gun for legitimate
purposes. need to make sure we understand why this gun violence is growing in america. the number of people who have been killedav injured just grows by the year. it's getting worse. we need to also talk about the issue of mental health raised by the president in response to this tragedy in texas. the president said quote this isn't a gun situation and i think it's a mental health issue problem here in the quote. despite the fact that most firearms in the united states illness many have said that mental health is really the issue. what have we done in the united states when it comes to mental health, guns this year? we use the sierra a. to repeal a regulationso that directed the social security administration to share mental illness information with the background check compilation of information
information. there was an advocacy for massive cuts to medicaid which would throw millions of people with mental health needs off of coverage. there is an attempt to repeal the affordable care act that would have allowed insurers to coverage of essential health benefits including mental health treatment and and there was a refusal for additional federal funding to help provide met health care. have a very good record in the senate when it comes to taking mental illness seriously and we should. we also need to make sure we introduce a bill which i'm working on two require handgun tracingn. mr. president we focus on terrorism across our country we should. that is our responsibility. anyone who would do harm to innocent americans killing
thousandsds needs to be taken extremely seriously by all of us in congress and the white house. foreign sources of terrorism need to be carefully watched when it comes to our border security and when it comes to background checks and the like. but let's be honest more americans are dying from americans killing americans buy guns than terrorist activity. it is just as much a death as a foreign terrorist threat would be and we need to consider just as seriously when it comes to the issue of terrorism and safety for the people of america. why doesn't united states congress take this up? why don't we even have a debate? we have not had a single bill this year that addresses gun safety, not one despite the gun violence that takes place every day and despite tragedies like this tragedy over the weekend in southerland springs texas.
>> we have an idea what happened happened. we know the number that were purchased and it's possible that there were more. we know of bank accounts that purchased ads on twitter and we know about some action on google google. what we don't yet know is whether there's any collusion with the trump campaign in coordination with buying all these ads on social media and we don't really know if it's way the election one way or the other. >> with that up on wider ranging concerns that lawmakers had about the lack of accountability in the law for them so for example you had john kennedy not particularly active on tech issues grilling them on data
former independent counsel ken starr compared his investigations of the clinton administration to the current investigations of the trump administration during a panel discussion at the annual texas festival in austin. panelists included walter shaw the former director of the u.s. government ethics office the former spokesman for attorney general eric holder and president george w. bush's former chief ethics lawyer. this is just over one hour. [applause] >> look at that.