December 13, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement on the third anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:
“I was elected to Congress just weeks before this horrific day. I’ll never forget thinking about my own children and I vowed that I would use my position to make a difference,” Peters said. “Yet here we are, three years later and Congress has done nothing because House Republican leadership cannot summon the courage to challenge the gun lobby and let us take a stand and vote on bipartisan proposals to honor these victims – these children – with action.”
“Today, we remember the lives of the twenty children and six educators that were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook. We honor the resiliency of those families and all the people of Newtown who persevered as they continue to heal from this heartbreaking tragedy.
“Since Sandy Hook, at least 161 communities have experienced school shootings, our country has lost 90,000 people to gun deaths, and Congress has done nothing. For as long as it takes, I will remind the Speaker of the human cost of his inaction. Speaker Ryan: it’s time to let Congress take action and pass universal background checks.”
Last week, Peters began reading the names of mass shooting victims since the tragedy at Sandy Hook in a series of speeches in front of the House of Representatives. The speeches will continue until Speaker Paul Ryan allows Congress to vote on one of a number of bipartisan proposals to curb the national epidemic of gun violence. Peters read 63 names during three speeches last week, and will carry on the series tomorrow.
Videos of these speeches and an updated list of names read in front of the House of Representatives can be found here.
Rep. Peters is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan King-Thompson background check legislation and an active member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently, loopholes in our gun safety laws allow many firearms purchases online or at a gun shows to proceed no questions asked and without a background check. By closing these loopholes, Congress could keep more firearms out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill.
According to a July survey by the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, favor expanding background checks to cover all gun purchases. According to the same survey, 87% of responsible, gun-owning Americans also support expanding background checks as a way to keep guns out of those who pose a threat to innocent lives.