Gun Violence Prevention

Floor Speech

By:  Grace Napolitano
Date: Feb. 13, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. NAPOLITANO. Thank you, Gentlelady Speier, for being our lead on the gun prevention, gun violence prevention.

One of the things we don't talk about is a mental health component on which Congress has got to act. We've got to make sure that we bring it to the forefront. We've got to fund the programs to be able to help our communities deal with the mental health issues, elevate it to the level of other illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart issues.

We need to destigmatize it. It will not solve itself. We need to end the school tragedies, the government office attacks. Mental illness is an invisible illness. We don't talk about it, we don't listen to it, and we don't want to share it because of the stigma. We need to educate our public.

Children at a young level can be identified when they're beginning to have emotional disorders that can be addressed at a very early age. Now, that's not to say--there's many reasons why we need to go, and the time does not allow me to go into it, but when you hear that 2,000 people are killed, how many are maimed? What is the cost to society and the cost to our business, to the law enforcement? And, as you say, they are very much in favor of controlling the guns on the street, the high-capacity, the assault weapons.

And women are highly in favor. As you can tell, most of your speakers are women who understand this is our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our friends who are impacted. And we need to be able to fund mental health services at the local level so it can be addressed and help can be found for them.

I've introduced the Mental Health in Schools Act, H.R. 628, which was a companion to Senator Franken's Senate bill 195. But I must ask that the public has got to raise their voice. Email, fax, mail, phone your Member of Congress, and tell them we need to pass reform.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT