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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Durbin on Gun Violence  CSPAN  June 6, 2022 9:35pm-9:51pm EDT

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the only way we can get a bill thatam will pass both chambers d earned the president's signature is by taking the time and reachingns that consensus. right now there's not a bill out there that stands the chance of succeeding in the coming days but my hope is that will change by allowing the senate to do the work we know how to do, to come up with a bipartisan bill that command the support of 60 plus members of the senate into something we can send to the president for his signature. >> 23 years ago after the massacre at columbine high school of 12 students and a teacher dead, the gun lobby and its allies insisted that, quote, now is not the time to talk about gun laws. in shooting after shooting since, as america has been
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stunned and grieving and burying its children, the gun lobby has demanded that we not politicize the issue of gun violence. they say we should wait until passions have cooled before taking any actions to reduce the gun violence in america. well, madam t president, the grm reality is it is no longer possible to wait months or weeks or days after a mass shooting for passions to cool. the shootings just keep happening. so far this year we have seen 246 mass shootings and 157 days more than one mass shooting severy day. just this past weekend, a string of 11 shootings left at least 15 people dead and more than 60 others wounded in tennessee, pennsylvania, south carolina, arizona,gi texas, georgia, new
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york and michigan. madam president, no other developed nation on earth has even a fraction of the mass shootings we have in theac unitd states. president lincoln once said famously we cannot escape history. this senate cannot escape its responsibility to do something. we cannot allow ourselves to go numb and resigned to this mass murder. negotiations are underway on a bipartisan basis to help reduce gun violence in america. i want to thank senators chris murphy ofon connecticut, john cornyn of texas and the others. the democrats and republicans who are trying to find a way to reduce gun violence. but it takes 60 senators for that to happen. i hope in good faith we can at least take a step forward from this awful situation. representatives
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already acted last year to close the gaps in the gun background check system. this week the house will vote on bills to support extreme risk protection orders or red flag laws and other important measures. tomorrow the senate judiciary committee which i chair will hold a hearing on mass shootings that took place in buffalo on may 14th just a few weeks ago. and the domestic terrorism threat it exposes. 1 of our witnesses is cornell whitfield junior. his mother was murdered at the grocery store in buffalo. gun violence is now the leading cause of death among america's children and teenagers. it replaced automobile accidents. next week the senate judiciary committee will hold a hearing from experts about the lasting trauma that gun violence leaves our children. next month of the judiciary committee will hold a hearing of the growing nature of gun
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violence, growing gun violence to police who increasingly find themselves outnumbered on the streets. there was a retired police officer in the grocery store in buffalo last name slaughter and he served the community and the police force and he was there to bring security to the grocery store. when the shooter came in with his military style weapon, this policeman did his duty. he pulled his handgun and he was outnumbered byan the killer ande lost his life. iclet's consider a few basic truths. number one, this crisis isn't simply about school safety. it wouldn't be solved by turning every school into an armed fortress. it's much bigger than schools alone. last friday i went to a grade school in chicago. i won't name the name. but i have a granddaughter that is in the fourth grade.
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there were 100 kids in fourth grade at this school and they all came to the assembly hall where i gave a talk and answer to their questions. i couldn't help but think as i stood there talking about my job and what's the hardest part and what's the best part. i looked at those wonderful kids and i thought to myself they are exactly the same age as the kids that died in uvalde texas. i couldn't imagine for a second the hoarder that the families must have felt when they heard the news that there was a shooter on the premises in their school. i can't imagine that this nation is so cold and callous that it would ignore the reality of the human suffering not just the deaths of the children and the teachers but what it meant to these families and still means to them to this day. but it isn't just schools. some people say if we make a fortress out of the schools and have one door and have metal
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detectors and if the custodians and at the cafeteria workers and all the teachers and principals are all carrying guns we can keep our kids safe. think about that for a moment. is that the answer in the united states of america to gun violence? we are going to outgun a madman that comes on the promise carrying an assault type of weapon? is that as good as it gets in the united states of america? i think we can do better and let's not kid ourselves. as heartbreaking as it is to hear of any violence in a school, schools are not the only places where this happens. grocery stores, walmarts, waffle houses, bars, nightclubs, hospitals, doctors offices, churches, synagogues, movie theaters, subways, street corners, baby showers, graduation parties, weddings, funerals in big cities and towns northeast and southwest.
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gun violence can be found in fevery corner of america. it can happen anywhere and to anyone at any time. spoint number two as horrific as there are mass shootings are only a small part of america's gun violence crisis. in 2020 of the most recent year for which the cdc has statistics, americans died by gun violence, 202,345,222. that total number was 14% higher than the year before. 25% higher than five years before and 43% higher than ten years. counting only homicides, the 2020 deaths were 34% greater them just one year earlier. 49% over five years earlier. 75% greater than a decade earlier. how can we look at those numbers and do nothing?
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in 2020, 79% of murders in the united states were carried out with guns. 79%. how about canada? what percentage of their murders in 2020 were the result of guns? 37%. the united states, 79%, canada 37%. australia, 13%. united kingdom, 4%. 79% in the united states of america. it's horrible and it's getting tworse. point number three, the changes the senate is likely to consider pose no threat to the lifestyle of any law-abiding gun owner. our goal is to save lives through responsibleth gun ownership. there's a website and i'm not going to mention its name but it sometimes is viewed as the most prolific place to buy a gun on
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the internet. if you buy a gun on that site from a licensed dealer you have to pass a background check but they are also what they call private sales on the site. 1 person selling to another person. private gun sales on the site at other places require no background checks. the two parties meet, leaves with a gun. the recent investigation by gun safety organizations found that in 2018 there were 1.2 million ads on this websiteel to sell gs without a background check. last week it listed and add, listen to this. last week it listed an ad for private sale in buffalo new york of the nar 15, the same weapon that madman took into the grocery store. and the same weapon that was
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used against the schoolchildren in uvalde texas. on that website you can buy an ar 15 last week no background check required.on how long do these background checks take most cases less than five minutes. no law-abiding citizen needs to worry about passing this test. we should close the deadly private sale loophole to keep guns out of the hands of people who are prohibited from owning firearms. poi support red flag laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from a person determined by the court to be at risk of hurting himself or others. 19 states including illinois have these laws and they are an important tool for preventing violence. even florida's republican-controlled legislature enacted a state red flag law after the parkland massacre. we shouldar support similar efforts. i will close with a story from my state. 3 years ago a convicted felon was fired from a job at a small
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manufacturing plant in chicago. he came back a few hours later with a handgun and he shot and killed five of his former coworkers and wounded five police officers before killing himself. i attended a memorial service of several of the victims. those murders happened in a town in illinois. 7 years before that, a gunman in another aurora this time in colorado open fire in a movie theater killing 12 people and wounding 70 more. killing 12 and wounding 70 more. when the police chief of colorado heard about the rampage he said to the reporter months from now as people talk about the mass shootings, someone will ask which mass shooting are you talking about. think about that. and nearly any other nation on earth the name of the town in which a mass shooting had taken
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place would be remembered for years or decades. in america gun deaths and mass murderers now happen with such regularity some people have a hard time getting the tragedies even remembering them. oli met with people to discuss n violence. i met with police officers, youth in chicago that have been affected by gun violence, doctors. this was always the first topic they mentioned. gun violence. they ask a basic question when is congress going to do something about this?
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the american people are sick and tired of gun violence and desperate for us to bring change. this senate has it within our power now to make changes that respect our constitution and the rights of law-abiding citizens and will literally save lives. the question is whether we have the conscience and the courage to take these steps forward. lives depend on it. when i left my granddaughter's grade school last friday, i thought about it all day long, those beautiful kids. the kids down in texas, the kids at sandy hook and the kids at columbine and parkland, all of these kids are being butchered by gun violence. many people think that because the constitution and its second amendment gives the right to bear armsou that we can't touch
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this issue. theyhe are wrong even the supree courtn in one of the seminal decisions justice scalia wrote still retain the power to regulate the guns that were sold and how they were going to be used. we've got to take that and seize that opportunity. we have been elected to the united states senate to respond to the american crisis. this is at the top of the list. after what we've been through the last several weeks and what we are likely to go through in the weeks to come, how dare we say this is too big and too tough. how could anything be more important than the safety of our children and families across america. i will join in the committee anyway i can to support this bipartisan effort. i hope that it's meaningful and i hope that when it's all said and done we can point to it and say we have achieved something in the names of those families of survivors and those who lost their lives who've given so much to this madness but it's become part of life in america.
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madam president i will yield back the floor. >> the house begins debate on several gun violence bills wednesday afternoon in response to that school shooting in texas. it increases the age limit to buy semi automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and another provision creates red flag walls that allow officials to take someone's guns away if a judge declares them to be a danger. there's also a measure that bands bump stocks that allows them to fire faster. follow coverage with our free video apps c-span now or stream online with c-span.org. the greatest town on earth is the place you call home. at a spark light it is our home and right now we are all facing our greatest challenges. that's why we are working around

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