tv U.S. Senate Sen. Blumenthal D-CT on School Shooting in Uvalde TX CSPAN May 25, 2022 5:12am-5:27am EDT
american violence by itself, but by doing something, we at leastd stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to the killers whose brains are breaking to see the highest levels of government doing nothing shooting after shooting. what are we doing? why are we mr. blumenthal: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: madam president, we are nearing the end of this session when we will go back to our homes for the evening, but when the families of 18 children
and four great educators go home tonight their homes will never be the same again. there are no words in a place filled with words during today and every day in this place when we're in session, there are no words today to capture the heart break, the gut-wrenching grief and pain that those families will feel, and i remember feeling almost ten years ago when we stood in the space just outside the firehouse in sandy hook, as parents learned that their 20 children would not be coming home that night.
the same bottomless grief is hitting the families in texas, in you've been ally -- in uvalde, where they have lost children. and there are no words also to capture the deep, abiding pain that will last forever, that pain will be with them. the hole in their hearts, a place at their tables, a room in their houses that never will be filled again. and hugs that they will never feel, cheeks that will never be kissed. this nation, like their families, is torn apart by violence, needless, senseless gun violence, every day in america, and the mystery is why
the greatest nation on earth continues to tolerate it. it is no longer surprising or stunning. it is no longer unfathomable or unforeseeable. it is incomprehensible. that this great nation is blocked by members of this body from taking action that can forestall and prevent it. why the outrage that we feel, the grief that pervades america on these occasions has not caused action, and this body has been complicit by its inaction. in fact, it isn't this body.
it is members of this body, principally on the other side of the aisle. let's be blunt. i will never forget hearing from that gallery, those words, shame, shame on you when we failed to adopt commonsense measures, a background check proposal, even though we had 55 votes. i can still hear those words, shame. and had we acted, who knows what tragedies could have been av averted. we don't know and we can't tell and we never will be able to
fathom whether specific measures would have prevented specific tragedies. charleston or san bernardino, pull sar, las vegas, parkland or santa fe or pittsburgh or el paso or dayton or boulder or indianapolis or oxford or buffalo or uvalde. we will never know because the false reason to object is this measure wouldn't have prevented that shooting. but that is not the way to approach gun violence reform because we know there is no panacea, there is no single measure. what we know is that stopping gun violence requires that we
act with these measures and that common sense -- commonsense sensible steps can prevent the senseless, needless violence. there is no panacea, but there are actions we can take. we are not without agency. now, we need to be very blunt and recognize that opposition to these measures have been bank rolled and enabled by the gun lobby's dark money, by its threats and intimidation, by its encouragement. and until my colleagues have the courage to stand up to that gun lobby, they will continue in its thrall and its grip, and they will continue to be complicit. and some on our side, some who have demonstrated the courage to
stand up and speak out have shown that we have the power to take action. we lack facts about the shooter and about the killing, all the circumstances in view valuedee -- in uvalde but we know enough to say that those families and that community will be torn apart. it will never be the same. they will never be whole again because they have lost something precious and there will always be that hole in their hearts. already some of our republican colleagues are saying we're politicizing the issue. but they're the ones who for decades have tied themselves to the n.r.a.'s fanatical devotion to unrestricted, unyielding firearms ownership for political
purposes at the expense of real lives. tying themselves to firearms ownership is unnecessary for law abiding citizens to own fir firearms. there are commonsense actions we can take to separate dangerous killers from firearms that are absolutely consistent with the second amendment, as judged by the supreme court, and absolutely consistent with gun ownership by law-abiding people. we know these actions won't save everyone, but there can be no doubt that each of them will save some lives. expanding background checks and closing glaring loopholes in our background check system. getting untraceable ghost guns
and military style assault weapons off our streets. protecting domestic violence survivors from gun violence. keeping guns out of the happedzs of domestic -- hands of domestic terp i.r.s.es and violent -- terrorists and violent extremists and those who are a danger to themselves and others. preventing kids from accidentally and unintentionally shooting themselves with unsecured firearms, ethan's law for safe storage. investing in community violence intervention programs. we know they work in hartford, new haven, all around the state of connecticut. reducing the number of firearm suicides. more than half of all gun deaths are suicide. red flag statutes separate firearms from people who are dangerous to themselves as well as others.
we need to do all these things and more. we need to do them right now because every day that passes without action means more of the same. not surprising, not stunning, more of the same. those measures are written. they are fully drafted, vetted for their constitutionality. my subcommittee on the constitution has had hearings on them, many of them. s. 529, the background check expansion act, s. 591, the background check completion act. s. 1558, the untraceable firearm act to stop ghost guns. s. 736, the assault weapons ban.
s. 527, the protecting domestic violence and stalking victims act. s. 2169, the lori jackson, nicolette elementary yos victims protection act. s. 2090, the disarm hate act. s. 4278, the h. 21 act. s. 190, ethan's law. s. 2982, the child suicide prevention and lethal means safety act. s. 1819, the extreme risk protection order act. the red flag statute. let us do one of them. let us vote to make one of them law. that's our job, to vote.
it's how we change this gut-wrenching, heartbreaking status quo. and it's how voters know where each of us stand when push comes to shove. so we have no words, but words will mean nothing without action. we have created a political movement. it is a movement that is growing as young people say enough is enough, as the hand wringing and the tears are translated into action at the grass roots level, action by state legislatures. almost 20 states now have red flag statutes in the wake of
parkland. and as communities and states show that they will no longer tolerate the hypocrisy of thoughts and prayers without action, all of us who have advocated for years, indeed for decades that this body must act, we cannot lose courage or heart. we cannot lose the hope, and we must match our thoughts and prayers with real action. thank you, madam covid.
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