Diana DeGette

Gun Violence Prevention - Dec. 19, 2012

Diana DeGette
December 19, 2012
Press Conference
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Thank you very much. I'm Congresswoman Diana DeGette from the first district of Colorado. Columbine's in my district now and Aurora's right down the street from my house. As you can hear from all of us and as you can see on our faces, even today the horror of Newtown remains unspeakable. As Congresswoman McCarthy said, "We've been here before over and over again calling for action after these terrible massacres." But, as she also said, "This time it's different." This time we had 20 little beautiful angels and their teachers taken from us. And finally our nation seems to realize collectively that it's the time to have a deep national conversation. Now is the time for a comprehensive solution; one that talks about our violent culture, our mental health system, and that talks about really doing something about gun violence. When we returned in January, we were all planning to work hard together on a solution, on all of those solutions. But right now we can do something this week before Congress leaves. We can pass legislation that will be a first and reasonable step to help protect our children and to help show that Congress has the will to begin stopping these massacres. This week we can bring to the floor a bill that Congresswoman McCarthy and I introduced some months ago—co-sponsored by so many of our friends here today and who aren't here today—that would ban the types of assault ammunition clips that were used last Friday, that were used by the shooter in Aurora this summer, and that had been used in far too many massacres in this nation. My view is this: we can probably never stop a disturbed individual completely from taking a gun and going into a school or a shopping mall or a store parking lot and trying to shoot people. But we can give those victims a fighting chance. We can give those victims a fighting chance when that assaulter stops to reload to take them down like they did when our friend and former colleague Gabby Giffords was shot. Now, just to show you how this dialog really has changed. A group of us started Monday when we got back here trying to get some more co-sponsors for Congresswoman McCarthy's and my bill. In just over 24 hours we've picked up 21 co-sponsors, and we believe that we'll have even more by the end of today. Sadly, none of those co-sponsors are Republicans, and we have approached many of our Republican friends and colleagues. Some of them said they're thinking about it, and we hope they think hard about it. And we hope Speaker Boehner will bring this bill to the floor by this Friday. It would send the message to the moms, to the dads, to the people of this country that we're serious. There's one more thing that needs to happen now as we prepare for the holiday season. Every single American who cares about this issue needs to pick up the phone, needs to call their member of Congress and needs to ask them, "Where do you stand?" We need to see what you're going to do, and who you stand with to stop this terrible gun violence that's killing our children in America. Thank you. Now I'd like to call on Congressman Mike Thompson.

Speech from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI16umNXYZA.