Take Action on Gun Violence

Floor Speech

Date: May 23, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. TRAHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind Members of this Chamber what happened just 2 weeks ago in Allen, Texas.

Eight people were senselessly murdered by an extremist armed with an assault rifle--a 3-year-old boy and his mom and dad, who left behind a 6-year-old orphan who survived the mass shooting.

Two young sisters, one in the fourth grade and the other in the second grade, who were described as rays of sunshine, and three young adults each had their entire life ahead of them. All of them were simply minding their own business at the outlets on a Saturday, not knowing it would be their last day.

The news cycle may have changed--something many in this Chamber were waiting for--but each of these victims leaves behind loved ones who are still mourning an unimaginable loss.

Each of these victims, like every victim of a mass shooting before them, deserved better. They deserved real action that could have prevented a person deemed unfit to serve in the United States Army from accessing an assault weapon that he used to kill them.

They deserve better than their Member of Congress going on national television that same day and saying that thoughts and prayers are enough to stop gun violence and that if you disagree, then you don't believe in an Almighty God.

They certainly deserve better than platitudes from a Governor more concerned about his grade on the NRA scorecard than the number of victims of mass shootings in his State.

Mr. Speaker, I stood here at this podium 3 weeks ago after three 9- year-old children and two teachers were murdered in their classrooms in Nashville. I pleaded with the Republican majority to bring legislation to the floor to prevent another mass shooting.

I listed bills we could have considered: the assault weapons ban to get weapons of war, the gun of choice for mass shooters, off our streets; the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to make sure guns aren't falling into the hands of individuals who shouldn't have them; and the Enhanced Background Checks Act to ensure that a full background check is actually completed before the firearm sale is processed.

Yet, here we are, 17 days since Allen, Texas, 57 days since The Covenant School, and 1 day before the first anniversary of the massacre in Uvalde, and what are we being forced to vote on this week? A piece of legislation that will make it harder to stop air pollution. Are they serious? This is a colossal disconnect.

There is a witness from a shooting just 2 weeks ago who talked about how he went to help a little girl whom he thought was hiding, and when he went to check on her, she didn't have a face after being shot with an AR-15-style assault weapon.

We can't even get a vote on whether these guns should be available. It is no wonder people think Congress is out of touch.

The United States is the only developed nation in the world where this kind of thing keeps happening again and again. We are the only country where mass shootings are so common that we have PSAs so people know what to do and where my girls' school day is interrupted on a regular basis to practice an active shooter drill.

It is shameful, infuriating, and embarrassing. This Chamber should be embarrassed that another mass shooting has disappeared from the news without a shred of action.