Blumenauer Statement on House Floor During Sit-in on Gun Safety

June 22, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during a sit-in organized by House Democrats to demand Republicans hold a vote on legislation to address gun violence.

Included below is a transcript of his remarks:

“I started today on this floor talking about two bullets that changed my life: a high school friend and my brother. All of you have stories that affected your communities and your lives. I am proud that people are finding their voice.

“There is power in this room. Think for a moment about what happened with a couple dozen loose cannons on the other side of the aisle shutting down this government – embarrassing, damaging, but I think, perhaps, a lesson.

“Everybody in this room represents a path forward. We know what to do to stop gun violence – treat it like the public health epidemic that it is. We all have taken strength from what we as a country did stopping the carnage on our highways. There was no single magic solution. It was years of hard work dealing with legislation, enforcement, research, engineering, public advocacy, and moms against drunk driving, and we cut the carnage in half.

“I know that we’ve got dozens of simple, commonsense proposals represented by people in this room. It’s time that we get better than 37 seconds from the Speaker of the House for a moment of silence after the last carnage. I’m speaking from this side of the aisle because I want to hear from my friends on this side of the aisle. They do themselves a service by hearing what we’re saying today.

“You know, if we don’t continue this action, what’s going to occur? We’re going to be voting on meaningless legislation that’s bad policy and is never going to be enacted into law. I say, let’s invest a little more time here. Let’s start with no fly, no buy.

“If we can start a journey towards a safer country today, even if it means we don’t start a journey back to our districts Friday afternoon or Saturday or Sunday, it’s time to seize the power that we have to help the majority do what I think a number of them want to do in their hearts.

“Thank you for being here today, and I look forward to staying on message and on task until we get the first step towards an important journey that were all committed to.”