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Mrs. TRAHAN. Madam Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart and a level of anger shared by millions of Americans, millions of parents.
On Monday, three 9-year-old children and three adults were gunned down at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. The shooter, armed with not one but two assault weapons, broke into the school and stole the lives of innocent people simply going about their day.
For my colleagues across the aisle not keeping track, the massacre was the 130th mass shooting of the year. It was the 13th school shooting of 2023, and that is only if you count the time someone was injured or killed when a gun went off on school grounds.
Thirteen times over the past 3 months, parents have dropped their children at the bus stop or at school. They told them they loved them, to have a great day, and that they would see them when they got home. Then, they got the call that every parent fears, the one that wakes us up in the middle of the night.
Thirteen times this year, parents in a city or town hung up that phone or turned off their TV and raced to their children's school.
Thirteen times parents waited behind police tape, hoping to hear something about their son or daughter.
Madam Speaker, how many more times are we going to let this happen?
How many more times can my colleagues across the aisle tweet their thoughts and prayers but say that their hands are tied on gun safety legislation?
How many more Christmas cards of Members of Congress holding AR-15s do we need to see while students in their classrooms practice active shooter drills?
School shooting after school shooting, Congress has had the opportunity to act.
We have the legislation to ban assault weapons, like the rifles used in Nashville on Monday.
We have legislation to require background checks on every gun purchase so firearms aren't falling into the hands of people who shouldn't have them.
We have legislation to prevent someone convicted of a hate crime from being able to purchase a gun.
What this Chamber doesn't have enough of is willpower. It doesn't have enough courage to act. This inaction is shameful, and as a parent, it is disgusting.
Apparently, the Republican leadership in the House thinks that the biggest issue facing our children today is the books in their library because while we have yet to take up a bill to stop school shootings, the number one killer of our children in America, this Chamber passed a bill last week to politicize our kids' education--a bill, by the way, that they didn't even have unanimous Republican support for.
I mean, what are we doing here?
I have to go home tomorrow and look my 8-year-old daughter in her eyes, 1 week before she turns 9, and tell her that three more kids were shot and killed in their classroom, but mama can't get half of her colleagues in the Congress to care enough to do anything about it.
How can anyone in this Chamber be okay with telling their kids or their grandkids that?
How can you see the kids who are taking pictures right outside on the Capitol steps and do nothing to prevent their school from being next?
How can we call ourselves the greatest country in the world when its elected leaders sit on their hands while children are murdered hiding beneath their desks?
We can't, and to those of you deflecting or giving up, you should be ashamed.
Madam Speaker, I implore you to go back to your party's leadership, go back to Speaker McCarthy and tell him that we need to end the gun violence epidemic that is plaguing our children. Do it before it is too late for another school, for another family.
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