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Public Statements

Addressing Gun Violence

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HIMES. Madam Speaker, I joined my colleagues in the Connecticut delegation in Newtown last Sunday night. We will never forget that vigil--the despondency, the anger, the hopelessness. But over time, that emotion turns into the imperative that we act as public officials to make sure that this never happens again.

We have so much to do in a Nation awash in guns, and not just guns, but guns that are designed for the explicit purpose to do nothing but to kill lots of people quickly, in a Nation that celebrates violence as a solution and as entertainment, in a Nation that does not do enough to address the needs of its mentally disturbed.

One thing we should do right away, though, is put to rest forever the pernicious fantasy that more people carrying arms will make us safer. That's not backed by fact. It's not backed by data. It's not backed by history. It is a testosterone-laden fantasy. A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide or a murder or violent assault than it is likely to be used in self-defense.

The RAND Corporation studies show that police officers trained in a situation of an exchange of gunfire hit their intended target less than two in 10 times--trained police officers. Ladies and gentlemen, more guns do not make for a safer America.

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