tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN February 26, 2018 8:47pm-9:00pm EST
this problem solved when we still have work to do. so i hope that we'll take heed to what i have just suggested. think it can be very helpful to us and we follow this suggestion or these suggestions i've made here today. thank you, mr. president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. >> ms. president, i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. >> ought objection. senator from florida. >> mr. president, it's with heavy heart i bring a report to the senate from marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, suburb of fort lauderdale. the teachers and the staff of the school returned to work today, which is less than two weeks after a former student walked on to the campus with an ar-15, opened fire, all three
floors of a classroom building. i've spent time this past couple of weeks in parkland, visiting with some of the families. those of us who are parents can only imagine the grief and the anger they are feeling, just like the grief and the anger after every one of these massacres. i've also spent time meeting with some of the courageous students who have turned this tragedy into a call for action. as i have suggested to them, their hope gives me hope. their determination gives me all
the more determination. these students have told us over and over that they don't plan to stop until congress and the state legislatures around the country start enacting common sense gun reform at the same time said they're not going to stop. and neither am i. because what hand at that high school shouldn't happen anywhere in this country. it shouldn't have happened in columbine, shouldn't have happened in newtown. it shouldn't have happened in orlando. it shouldn't have happened at the fort lauderdale airport or parkland. it shouldn't happen, period. and now it's up to us to make sure it never happens again.
this senator grew up on a ranch. i've always had guns. i've always hunted all my life. still hunt with by -- with my soon. but an ar-15 or a sig sauer mcx, the gun used at the pulse nightclub, those guns are not for hunting. they are fog kill -- they are for killing. yet despite these horrific events, these devastating tragedies are occurring throughout our country over and, and congress refuses to act. why is it that we can't enact the most common-sense measures to protect the people we represent?
we need a comprehensive background check on the purchase of a weapon, a common-sense background check that would not only include, if there was a criminal record or if someone had been awe jude -- adjudicated mentally incompetent but all the other myriad things was the shooter on the terrorist watch list. had the shooter been on then throw terrorist watch list that would have caught omar mateen because he had been on the terrorist watch list. he was the shooter in orlando. and all the other things surrounding mental health. if it can be available in a brown -- background check,
common-sense background check, and we need to get the assault rifles off the streets. protecting our fellow citizens should be a top priority, and if making it more difficult for someone to walk into a store and purchase a weapon of war will do that, why can't we get that done? why? well, i'll tell you why. because there are folks that are more concerned about an a-plus rating from the nra than they are about providing those common-sense solutions to the problem.
i want to read something that appeared in a national magazine, reprinted in the paper, that is published in broward county where the shooting occurred. it's from a radiologist who is in the trauma center at the broward health, which is a hospital chain, organization, in the area of broward county. her name is dr. heather share. she was working the day of the school shooting, and she went to work in the trauma center on some of the victims. she has treated countless gunshot wounds in trauma centers throughout her career, but this one was the second time that she had treated someone shot by an
assault rifle like the ar-15, and here's what dr. share had to say: quote. routine handgun injuries leave entry and exit wounds and linear tracks through a victim's body that are roughly the size of a bullet. if the bullet from a handgun does not directly hit something crucial like the heart or the aorta, chances are we can save the victim. the bullet, however, fired by an ar-15 are different. she continues: with an ar-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. the victim doesn't have to be unlucky. if a victim takes a direct hit
to, for example, the live, from an ar-15, the damage is far graver than that of a handgun bullet injury. handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. an ar-15 bullet, however, to the middle of the liver, would cause so much bleeding and so much tissue damage that the patient would likely never make it to the trauma center to receive our care. she continues: as a doctor i feel i have duty to inform the public of what i have learned as i have observed these wounds and cared for these patients. it's clear to me that an ar-15
or other high velocity weapons, especially when fitted with a high capacity magazine, have no place in a civilian gun cabinet. and she says, banning an ar-15 should not be a partisan issue. the senseless shootings are not going to stop until we change ourselves as a culture, and i believe with these students who have been so strong in their statements, so determined, to make a change, that time might just be now. didn't happen after sandy hook elementary. nothing happened. it didn't happen after the myriad of others.
it didn't happen just two years ago after the orlando nightclub shooting. not again after the ford lauderdale airport shooting. is it different now? it certainly is time for us to come together and enact common-sense gun measures to keep our community safe. so it's the time for us to come together, not as republicans or democrats but to come together as human beings. and to try to say that this time it's going to be different. you know can, you hear so many different things. you hear about mental health and that is certain lay part of it. you hear about school protection
and that is certain lay part of it. you hear about the miscues, not only in the fbi -- and that's certainly a -- part of it but he miscues in the florida department of children and families the year prior that noted this shooter, all of those things taught be part of the solution -- ought to be part of the solution, but you get right down to it, not as a republican or democrats, as human beings, we ought to come together and say if you want to solve the problem, the problem is, common-sense background checks in order to purchase a weapon, and get the assault rifles off the streets. so let's do this.
let's use this tragedy as a cat list to enact real change in our society. changes that are going to have a real impact. let make what happened at marjory stoneman douglas high school a significant moment in this country's history. not because it was one of the largest mass shootings, but because it was the last. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> ...