Big milestone in the fight against gun violence
This week was a momentous week of progress in Congress. Yesterday, on the heels of our successful vote on the American Rescue Plan, the House approved two commonsense gun violence prevention measures. These bills would require background checks on all gun sales and close the Charleston Loophole that allowed the horrific hate crime at Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina in 2015.
Since I first came to Congress, I have made gun safety one of my top priorities. I have cosponsored every major gun safety initiative, I have spoken out in support, and I’ve worked with gun safety organizations. I’m also immensely proud to have worked with gun safety advocates in our community – many of whom have suffered gun violence in their own families – on a report (available on my website) that outlines a public safety approach to guns.
Yesterday’s vote was a critical step forward because even though we’ve passed these bills before, we’ve never had a Senate leadership that is willing to allow these accomplishments to be considered. But now, we have Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, who actually led the charge when he was a House member on the Brady Bill and cared deeply about gun safety, a passion that has never cooled. And most importantly, we have a president of the United States who will enthusiastically sign gun safety legislation into law.
It’s a landmark that many of us have been working towards literally for decades. Savor this moment but be prepared to not relax. Even though the public is with us, opponents and the apologists for gun violence, are not.
This is one more example of what a difference it makes to have Democrats in charge. In particular, I want to share my deep appreciation and respect for Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia, who lost her young son to gun violence. As I told Lucy on the House floor yesterday, her courage in the fight against gun violence has been an inspiration to me and so many others.