Our hearts are still raw and broken for the students and teachers who lost their lives in Uvalde, and for the families, friends, peers, and mentors left without them. We grieve with the people of Uvalde and for Texas, from Connecticut to Arizona, to Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.
Time and again our nation has asked, what is it going to take for us to make our schools and communities safer?
When it comes to combatting the gun violence epidemic, there has never been a lack of ideas. But there has been a lack of will and decency, and of morality and common sense.
No parent should live in fear that their child might not make it home on any given day.
No parent should get the call that their child has been murdered by a gunman.
No one should have access to lethal weapons anytime they want.
It’s not enough to get angry.
It’s not enough to talk about the need to change our gun laws.
It’s not enough to take to the streets and shout from the top of our lungs that this is wrong.
Last week in the House, we acted. I was proud to vote for the Protecting Our Kids Act, which would:
· Outlaw high-capacity magazine for civilian use
· Close the bump stock loophole
· Raise the purchasing age of semi-automatic firearms to 21
· Prevent gun trafficking and prohibit straw gun purchases
· Ban ghost guns
Furthermore, this past weekend, the Senate reached a bipartisan framework agreement to provide funding for states to implement red flag laws, ban straw purchasing, close the loophole so domestic abusers can’t buy a gun, enhance background checks for gun buyers under 21, and provide new funding for mental health and school safety.
This is an important step in the right direction and the first sign of progress in three decades at the federal level. It is not impossible to achieve bipartisan support to make our schools and communities safer, and for that, we should celebrate this small victory.
It is equally important to acknowledge that this step forward isn’t enough, but it’s a start. Our calls for common-sense gun legislation can no longer go unanswered, and we will keep fighting to protect those we love.