One year ago, on February 14, 2018, 17 students and school staff were killed and 17 more were injured in the worst high school shooting in American history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Days without senseless gun violence or deaths are becoming fewer and far between. Like countless others, I lost a friend from high school who was killed in a random senseless way. Like countless others, I lost a brother who took his life with a pistol. I’ve attended memorials to console families who have lost loved ones in mall shootings and school shootings.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Outrage is not enough. This is a crisis that Congress cannot continue to ignore.
Every year, hundreds of people die from gun accidents and thousands of people are killed by gun violence. While there is no single solution to this growing crisis that threatens rural and urban communities alike, Congress can take action. With Democrats in control of the House, we must make significant progress towards reducing gun violence by taking steps like:
- Effectively regulating sellers by properly funding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to oversee licensing and inspections of gun dealers.
- Controlling access to the most dangerous guns, especially ones that can allow a shooter to fire a large number of rounds at an extremely rapid pace without reloading.
- Authorizing and increasing research on gun violence prevention which would allow researchers and the Surgeon General to report on the effects of guns and firearms.
- Improving the mental health system with legislation that would authorize schools to spend grant money on community-based mental health services.
Gun violence in the United States is not inevitable, nor should Americans accept it as the status quo. I will fight to pass sensible gun safety legislation in the House so we accomplish what the American people have been demanding: a better, safer nation. We owe it to the memory of tens of thousands who have died needlessly from violence and tens of thousands of lives that we can save.
You can read my comprehensive plan to improve gun safety HERE.