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Public Statements

Gun Legislation: A Pathway to Saving Lives

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BEATTY. Thank you to my colleague, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. It is an honor for me to join you.

As I stand here today on this floor and think that we have the opportunity to pass legislation that makes sense on gun laws, and as I stand here on this floor and realize that the gun debate is heating up and that we are considering that we would filibuster and protect those who don't want us to make a decision, it does not make sense to me. We are asking for sensible gun laws. We are asking for laws that can help save lives. Whether it's in Congresswoman Jackson Lee's district in Texas, whether it's in Newtown, Connecticut, or in my Third Congressional District in Ohio, it's for us to take this opportunity to stand together and save lives.

We stand on this floor, and we salute so many good things, so many changes. So the question now for me is: Why? Why can't we come together? The things we're asking for: to close the loopholes. The things we're asking for: to make sure that someone doesn't have an assault weapon in his home that can shoot 30 rounds of ammunition in 30 seconds.

I support the Second Amendment, but I don't think that our forefathers meant for us to do what we are doing today. I don't think that they envisioned that innocent children, babies, would be assassinated, if you will, by someone who had one of these assault weapons. I think today as Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, that we understand that we are about saving lives, that we are here to protect the innocent, that we took an oath to serve.

So as I reflect back on where I was when that incident happened in Newtown, I was sitting with colleagues on both sides of the aisle at Harvard University in training, where we were talking about working together, where we were talking about how we can make this wonderful America better. So now as I reflect today, let's use those same things that we were being trained on to make this America better. Let's make it better by voting an up-or-down vote. Let's make it better in the spirit of saving lives.

So I proudly join you as we ask all of our colleagues to come together and do what's right: sensible gun laws, background checks, closing the loopholes. That's what we are asking for. For me it is quite simple. The answer is: let's vote.


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