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Public Statements

Gun Violence

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. ESHOO. Madam Speaker, in the wake of the horrible tragedy in Arizona, Members of Congress were united in condemning the violence. We expressed our prayers and hopes for the recovery of our colleague, Congresswoman GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, and the others injured in the attack, and we praised the heroic actions of ordinary Americans on that day.

But for our words to have meaning, Madam Speaker, we also must act.

I'm proud to join Representative CAROLYN MCCARTHY in introducing the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, to eliminate access to clips that enable the kind of shooting spree that took place in Arizona. No one can say that the ability to shoot more than ten times--without pausing to reload--makes our cities or our citizens any safer. The Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 addressed this issue, but perversely, by allowing it to expire in 2004, we lost critical ground.

The importance of the ban was tangible in each of our communities. When I first came to Congress, East Palo Alto, a city in my district, bore the awful distinction of being the "Murder Capital of the Country." Today, the crime rate has subsided. The ability to take these murderous assault weapons off the street played a major role in that turnaround, and we should not turn back the clock.

Madam Speaker, we all honor our Constitution and the Second Amendment. I, however, see no connection between the primitive muskets our Founding Fathers contemplated and the sophisticated, deadly weapons that plague our streets today. The United States continues to have the most per-capita gun deaths of any developed nation. This is not a symbol of our freedom. It's a capacity to kill, and this must not eclipse our capacity to care. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this sensible gun legislation which we are grateful to Representative MCCARTHY for authoring to better protect our communities.


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