WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez tonight read aloud names of individuals who have been murdered in mass shootings, beginning with victims of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The Senator joined dozens of Democratic colleagues in speaking on the Senate floor about the impact of gun violence and in calling on Majority Leader McConnell to allow common sense gun legislation to be brought to a vote.
“My time is almost up, and I’ve not yet reached the names of those who perished after Newtown nearly seven years ago,” Sen. Menendez said. “It’s heartbreaking to know that some of the people on this list might be alive today if only we had the courage to pass the Keep Americans Safe Act, or universal background checks, or a new assault weapons ban.”
“And it’s just as heartbreaking to know that more names -- of more sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues will end up on this list in the days ahead should this Senate fail to act,” he added.
The Senator’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
I rise today to once again call for this body to act on commonsense gun safety legislation.
Time and time again we’ve witnessed unfathomable carnage at the hands of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. It’s a horror movie we’ve seen over and over.
As parents bury children, as infants lose parents, as America grieves the senseless loss of life, the NRA just tightens its grip on the President and the Majority Leader.
I’m heartened by the grassroots momentum that’s grown across our nation in recent years. Likewise I’m encouraged by the many polls indicating that Americans overwhelmingly want action.
Americans are tired of having their voices drowned out by the NRA. They’re tired of a Congress that fears NRA attack ads more than the next mass shooting. And they’re tired of being told time and time again that this is a mental health problem, or a violent video game problem, when we know it is a gun problem.
It’s time for real action in the Senate. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed universal background checks for every gun sale – the kind of measure that would have stopped the shooter in Midland, Texas from bypassing a criminal background check.
And just last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Keep Americans Safe Act, my legislation to limit the sale of ammunition to no more than ten rounds. We know that a magazine that holds 30 or 60 or even 100 rounds of ammunition – like the Dayton shooter did – is not for hunting, or self-defense, or protecting your home.
High capacity magazines are designed for one thing, and that’s high capacity killing.
It’s true no single law will prevent all gun deaths. But it’s also true we can prevent SOME gun deaths – and reducing magazine size is a proven way to do so.
What will it take for the Majority Leader to take action?
I’m not the only one asking this question. Indeed, on September 3rd, the Washington Post published an editorial calling on the Majority Leader to act. They asked: “Would any volume of bloodshed convince the Kentucky Republican that Congress faces a moral imperative to act?”
Alongside their call for action, the Post also published a staggering list of names – names of Americans who’ve lost their lives in mass shootings, many involving high-capacity ammunition.
I’d like read as many of these names as I can in my allotted time today.
William “Dave” Sanders
Jennifer Bragg Capobianco
Louis “Sandy” Javelle
Marian Stoltzfus Fisher
Lena Zook Miller
Mary Liz Miller
Anna Mae Stoltzfus
Ross Abdallah Alameddine
Christopher James Bishop
Daniel Perez Cueva
Matthew G. Gwaltney
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Matthew J. La Porte
Juan Ramon Ortiz
Nicole R. White
Marc Henry Bernard
Maria Sonia Bernard
Hong Xiu Mao
Michael Grant Cahill
Libardo Eduardo Caraveo
Justin Michael DeCrow
Jason Dean Hunt
Amy S. Krueger
Aaron Thomas Nemelka
Michael S. Pearson
Juanita L. Warman
Kham See Xiong
Christina Taylor Green
John M. Roll
Russell King, Jr.
Tshering Rinzing Bhutia
Grace Eunhea Kim
Judith O. Seymour
John Thomas Larimer
Alex Matthew Sullivan
Rebecca Ann Wingo
Satwant Singh Kaleka
Suveg Singh Khattra
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Ana G. Marquez-Greene
Anne Marie Murphy
Mr. President, my time is almost up, and I’ve not yet reached the names of those who perished after Newtown nearly seven years ago.
So I will close with one last point. It’s heartbreaking to know that some of the people on this list might be alive today if only we had the courage to pass the Keep Americans Safe Act, or universal background checks, or a new assault weapons ban.
And it’s just as heartbreaking to know that more names -- of more sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues will end up on this list in the days ahead should this Senate fail to act.
That’s the truth, M. President. Every day without action is another day closer to America’s next mass shooting. The time to save lives is now.
With that, I ask for unanimous consent to enter the Washington Post’s entire list of mass shooting victims into the record.