Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, 9 months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, our country is once again facing the terrible reality of another horrific mass shooting. In this case, 12 innocent men and women were murdered at the Washington Navy Yard just 2 days ago. I know that all of us are keeping the victims and their loved ones in our thoughts and prayers today.
All of us in this Chamber should ask ourselves whether there is anything that we could have done to prevent this tragedy. According to the Associated Press, the person who carried out this cowardly attack had previously complained about serious mental health issues, including paranoia, sleep disorder, and hearing voices in his head. And despite all of this, he legally purchased a shotgun from a firearms dealer in Virginia just last week.
Mr. Speaker, there is something seriously wrong in this country when someone with such serious mental illness is able to purchase a firearm without even the slightest bit of scrutiny.
We owe it to the victims of the Navy Yard and their families to finally close loopholes that allow criminals and the seriously mentally ill to purchase firearms. How many tragedies should we witness before we finally enact commonsense gun violence prevention?