Senate, House Members Hold Press Event Urging McConnell to Pass Background Checks Legislation Now

honor to bring to the podium a correct an icon of courage in our country probably the most admired living person in America when she comes back to the House of Representatives we receive her with the greatest of pride love and admiration is my privilege to present the great wonderful courageous inspirational Gabby Giffords stopping gun violence takes courage the courage do what's right the courage new ideas I'm seeing great courage won my life is on the line now is the time to come together be responsible Democrats Republicans everyone we must never stop fighting fight fight fight be bold be courageous the nation's counting on you thank you very much [Applause] good afternoon everyone my name is Chris Murphy I have the honor of representing Connecticut in the United States Senate along with senator Blumenthal behind us this afternoon are representations of the 11,000 400 individuals who have died by gunshot wounds since our colleagues in the House of Representatives passed HR 8 the bipartisan background checks bill that piece of legislation will save lives the minute it is passed and put into operation these numbers will go down because we know we know that states that have passed universal background checks have less gun homicides states that have universal background checks have less domestic violence homicide states that pass universal background checks have less suicides it is a proven and impactful intervention but over the course of the last 114 days since this legislation has been waiting for action in the United States Senate America has lost another 100 of another 11,000 400 individuals 100 a day and so we are here today to make clear what the cost of inaction is tens of thousands of Americans dying many of them completely needlessly and we are here to plead and beg our colleagues in the United States Senate to bring HR 8 up for a vote bring it up for a debate let the Senate work and debate this measure so that we can stand up and say both parties together that this level of slaughter which happens in the United States of the United States alone is on optimal is unacceptable I'm so glad to be here with a broad coalition of groups that have been working on this issue in every corner of the country who have developed the modern anti gun violence movement which today is stronger is stronger than the gun lobby in the gun industry and I would like to bring back to the podium our champion in the House of Representatives who made this a priority for the new Democratic majority the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi [Applause] thank you very much senator Murphy for your courageous leadership on this issue you have been a wonderful wonderful not only spokesperson but hero to all of us who care so much about the toll that gun violence takes in our country every day an honor for us to be with so many members of the Senate and the House of Representatives you'll be hearing from some of them shortly I just want to again welcome Gabby Giffords back to the House of Representatives how political I hope home for her where she is always welcome and makes such a tremendous difference in because with her as an inspiration we were able to pass HR eight so named because it was eight years since the Tucson tragedy and actually January 8th when it all took place so this this number is fraught with meaning for us and numbers are what this is about George Bernard Shaw once said the sign of a truly intelligent person is that he or she was swayed by statistics and here are the numbers I'll reiterate some of what Senator Murphy said and what is demonstrated behind us every year North nearly 40,000 people die from gun violence every day 47 teenagers some younger than that children are killed by guns every day more than 90% of the American people want background checks and since Senator McConnell refused to take HR 811 thousand four hundred people have died from gun violence nearly four thousand murders Senator McConnell calls himself a grim reaper we cannot accept that this bill this bill is alive and well among the American people as I said now nearly 90 percent support Democrats Republicans non partisan independents etc the American people want us to be safer to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country the Senate has the key give us a vote give us a vote we're not going away until we get this until the job is done and one of the people who was a leader in all of this in the 90s in the count and the House of Representatives when he served there was the next speaker and that is the distinguished now leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer I had the honor of working as a sort of a you know peon I mean very lowly person I was a newcomer to the Congress at the time and he was a great leader we were very proud in California the leadership of Senator Dianne Feinstein and now a congressman Mike Thompson is well in the lead on these issues but in the house at that time we were led very well effectively and successfully by the distinguished now minority Lee well let me say Democratic leader on the senator person is going to get the job done for us give us a vote here he is please welcome Chuck Schumer well thank you Nancy and this is such an important day I want to thank you I want to thank someone who's been an inspiration to all of us and that is congresswoman giffords her relentless advocacy easy for her to curse the darkness instead every day she lights a candle and moves us forward we all know – well how survivors families communities are devastated by since senseless gun violence I'd like to thank my Senate colleagues for being here three of them have been the leaders on this issue in the Senate senators Murphy Blumenthal and Cortes Masto and many of my friends from the house who have worked so long and hard on this issue as well why are we here because too many American lives have been lost to gun violence and the United States Senate could do something about it today and the United States Senate and Mitch McConnell are just twiddling their thumbs as more and more people die from gun violence according to the gun violence archive 102 people have been killed in their shootings since the house bravely correctly passed their universal background check bill 114 days ago so let's think of that two numbers 102 people killed 114 the number of days the bill has sat in the Senate it is outrageous a hundred days more than a hundred days we all know that leader McConnell has created a do-nothing Senate refusing to consider even the most popular house-passed bills over 90% of Americans support closing those background check loopholes 80 percent of the Republicans a majority of gun owners when we passed the bill there was no internet so of course we didn't prohibit online sales we didn't know what they were to pass the bill because it passed so narrowly they said well let gun shows in a couple of people wouldn't have voted unless we did but then gun shows were nothing they were really places for amateurs now they become a major and gaping loophole around the brady law so we have to close those simple loopholes and the courage that so many people showed in the House and Senate in 1994 some of them actually lost their seats is the courage we need in the Senate today we need every senator Republican to tell McConnell we want the bill up and if they don't they are as a complicit as he is in the Senate doing nothing for too long these people have just shivered when the gun lobby said don't do anything they've been afraid even the most obvious and non-controversial reforms like closing loopholes doesn't get done and the NRA says what to do and the Republican majority in the Senate marches in lockstep with them it's time for that to change leader McConnell should call a vote on the universal background checks what do I hear from the young people here vote now vote now vote now vote now vote now vote now and all those little figures you're seeing there their families are saying the same exact thing the same exact thing thoughts and prayers won't cut it we can't allow ourselves to be numb to these daily tragedies or forget that gun violence poses threats to every community we must act leader McConnell we demand you hold a vote on universal background checks now it is now my pleasure to introduce someone who's taking up the mantle so well a representative Thompson of California senator thank you very much I'm Mike Thompson from California's fifth congressional district and I'm the chair of the gun violence prevention task force and the author of HR eight and I am a gun owner and I support the Second Amendment but like so many gun owners across our country I believe there is a reason to pass a background check expansion and it's to save lives because too many people too many lives are lost to gun violence 30 people every day are killed by someone using a gun if you add in suicides and accidents it's a hundred people a day 30,000 suicides a year with a gun 30,000 suicides a year with a gun and when someone attempts suicide with a gun it's almost 100 percent background checks will help background checks will be able to indicate if someone has a problem where they're a threat to themselves or others and we can stop them from getting their hands on a gun background checks will reduce the number of deaths over 90% of the American people support expanding the background check bill HR 8 Senator McConnell has held this bill hostage for 114 days 114 days and every one of those days around a hundred people die Senator McConnell do your job Senator McConnell bring up HR 8 for a vote Senator McConnell help us save lives now it's my honor to introduce someone who's been a great partner in this effort senator Blumenthal from Connecticut thank you thank you to all my colleagues who are here today but most important thank you to the survivors the families lucy macbeth gabby giffords you are the face and voice of a movement we have created a political movement that is sweeping the country and Mitch McConnell if you care about nothing else history will judge you harshly the voters will judge you harshly in the next election and we will sweep out your incumbents if you fail to give us a vote and if you fail to let us vote and do our job the blood of those victims will be on your hands you must you must allow the Senate to do its work now of those literally 90 people every day many are women attacked and killed by intimate partners victims of domestic violence in fact every month 50 women are killed by their intimate partner if you care about no one else Mitch McConnell do something to save women who are victims of domestic violence and killed with a gun we know that we need an emergency risk protection order statute we know that safe storage statutes like Ethan's law can help save lives we know there are common-sense measures that can help save those 90 people every day but if you care about no one else enable us to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who kill women during domestic violence they are truly innocent and vulnerable we need to pass this universal background checks bill now before more are victims of this horrendous violence the Lorie Jackson Violence Protection Act will help save women and the universal background checks bill must be passed now I'm honored to introduce now a true champion of gun violence prevention representative George of Florida okay thanks very much we're here today in part because after the horrific tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in my district young people said enough is enough on March 24th 2018 the young leaders from parkland fly to the streets to demand action but they did not do it alone the march for our lives was part of a movement a movement that stretches back over 20 years to Columbine and laying schools around the country but the students from Parkland didn't want to limit their work to the violence in the halls of America's schools in the days after the shooting students from Florida visited communities all around the country they connected with students and cities where gun violence is a daily fact of life and many of those communities are communities of color according to a recent CDC report black children are 10 times more likely to die from gun violence than their white peers that is why the March for our lives lifted up the stories of everyday gun violence in communities of color stories like Maya Middleton from Chicago who said Chicago goes through this every day and you don't realize how much of a toll it is taking on our city she demanded help us by screaming to the government that we are tired of crying for help to a group of people that have turned their backs on us Edna Chavez March marches in memory of her brother and in support of her community she said for decades my community of South Los Angeles has become accustomed to this violence it is normal to see candles it is normal to see posters it is normal to see balloons and it is normal to see flowers honoring the lives of black and brown youth that have lost their lives to a bullet it is not normal for this to ever become acceptable in our country it's time to stop judging youth it's time to stop judging the actions of our youth based solely on their age it's time to judge them on their leadership gun violence is an epidemic in our country there is no single cause and no single solution and while gun violence affects communities differently we all grieve those who have died in senseless tragedies an estimated three and people of color have died in the 114 days since the House passed a bipartisan universal background check bill today we call on Senator McConnell to hold the vote on this bill this bill can prevent gun violence it can save lives and whether whether you come from a community who's experienced it firsthand like parkland or Newtown in the horrific mass tragedies or whether it's a community that experiences gun violence every single day we must work to save lives Senator McConnell let the Senate vote and with that it is it's my honor to introduce senator Cortes Masto another great leader in the Senate on trying to end gun violence congressman thank you and thank you to all of my colleagues out here and most importantly thank you to congressman woman Gifford thank you for your continued fight in advocacy I have the unfortunate distinction of coming from a town where unfortunately the deadliest mass shooting occurred in American modern history my name is Kathryn Cortes Masto I represent Nevada and I am from Las Vegas and unfortunately almost two years ago hundreds of people were wounded and 58 were killed at the route 91 harvest music festival in Las Vegas now what you see behind you and what we have talked about are the statistics which are important the number of lives that we have lost to gun violence the statistics that show a majority of Americans want us to do something about it but what we don't always talk about are the real faces and families and lives that are behind it and let me tell you my niece was at that concert and my niece came home but there were many families at the reunification center waiting to hear from their loved ones who never made it home those are the stories and those are the people that we are fighting for and they're not Republican or Democrat or in dependent there are neighbors there are friends they're the ones that are asking us to do something about this deadly gun violence in our country and so what I do not understand when you have a majority of Americans who want us to do something you have a House of Representatives who have passed universal background checks why one individual in the United States Senate gets to hold all of that up and he's proud he's proud of it call himself the grim reaper to bury legislation well first of all I don't think that's funny and I can tell you the people in Nevada and across this country don't think that's funny it is time for us to do something now Nevada passed universal background checks by initiative petition a majority of the people in the state of Nevada wanted us to do something about it congressman Gifford came out and she helped us pass that legislation well she and her husband Mark Kelly and I will tell you this past legislative session our governor signed into law universal background checks in the state of Nevada and if we can do it in Nevada we can do it across this country and we can do it here in the United States Senate and that's what this is about I cannot thank you all for being here this is the important issue of the day every time I go home every time I talk to families who are devastated in any type of gun violence that you're hearing about today this is their issue this is what they expect us to be doing and coming together so I'm asking Mitch McConnell to bring to the floor HR 8 let's debate it let's talk about it and then let's do something about it let's pass universal background checks in this country thank you everyone [Applause] good afternoon I'm congresswoman Lucy make bathroom Georgia sixth congressional district and I could not be more proud to stand here with congresswoman Gabby Giffords my Senate colleagues my congressional colleagues and all of these courageous and brave students that stand behind us asking to make sure that their futures are secure from gun violence since the House passed HR 8 in HR 1112 114 days ago 456 children have been killed by a gun these are children killed by accidental shootings killed in homicides children lost to suicide 456 lives have been torn away from their loved ones since the Senate decided not to take action to make universal background checks the law for all gun sales we know that universal background checks saves lives universal background checks are a sound mechanism to enforce prohibitions that are already in place they prevent guns getting into the hands of those who have already decided we have decided they should not be able to have them background checks for all gun sales are the first thing that we can do to save lives and prevent tragic gun deaths we have waited for the Senate to take up this legislation to do the right thing but we're just not waiting anymore today we are calling out these delay tactics we are standing up to demand that all of Congress is protecting the lives of our children since the house has passed HR 8 and HR 1112 114 days ago and I'd like to repeat this 456 children have been killed by gun violence and we are standing here today to demand that all of Congress is protecting the lives of American people we're standing up to protect families from tragedy as Ida B Wells once said the right way to write wrongs is to turn the light upon the truth of those wrongs today we turn the light of truth upon the Senate in their unwillingness to act we demand action and we will continue to demand that they take up this life-saving legislation our children deserve better our children deserve to live in a society where they are not bound by the fear of violence and is the responsibility of this Senate to do so as a mother who lost her only son to gun violence I am holding the Senate accountable my colleagues and I standing here today we will continue to hold the count that the Senate accountable I myself will be marching over to Mitch McConnell to hold him accountable and I guarantee you we will continue to fight because you deserve to live in a world free from unnecessary gun violence once again we should not live bound by fear but bound by the ability to live freely and safely in our own communities and again I'd like to introduce to you a fierce advocate for change Senator Chris Murphy [Applause] thank you to all of my colleagues for being here today thank you in particular to the courageous Gabby Giffords for not just being here today but for sending her own personal heartfelt communication a letter to Senator McConnell today asking demanding that he bring this bill up for a devote a vote thank you to all of the amazing advocacy groups that continue to power our movement all around the country they deserve a round of applause what is so totally completely unacceptable is in the face of this slaughter not even trying to solve it not even attempting to find a pathway to get to the 50 or 60 votes we need in the Senate to pass a measure that is supported by 97% of Americans and so I closed today by offering you a simple reminder a reminder that behind these statistics and these numbers are real people behind these stick figures are faces and that every day that Mitch McConnell refuses to bring HR 8 up for a vote Republicans in Congress are making the conscious decision to kill off their future thank you to everyone for being here today we have work to do [Applause]


  1. please add chris murphy and his buddys to the white stick figure signs if there is a god. thank you lord. good things in time. and the lord has one picked out for everybody. we just hope to see some of these constution burning scum bags go first.

  2. chris murphy is a scum gun grabber and like all of them he acts like he is doing it for the kids and innocent. under a cloud of i am here to help. wow they are a broken record. whats the chances of the democrats funding mass shooters to advance the agenda. your playing dirty chris and nancy. good thing i am no stranger to elbow grease. and there are millions more right behind me. we are coming dem turds. get the gallows ready.

  3. they wont stop trying to remove gun ownership. even if it happens when they are long gone. its not about my guns rights. its about my kids. and nobody messed with my kids and got away with it . this is war democrats. lets play.

  4. Over 456 children.
    35 children died from a baby sleeper & they were recalled.
    Where is #ABC #CBS #CNN? #MSNBC? Coverage of these traddgies. Make 456 children Real!
    Heartbreaking Heartbroken Heartfueled to keep Going.
    Peace not PSTD.
    Education not Arms.
    Last Resort not 1st to War.

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