WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) announced that he will begin reading the names and ages of mass shooting victims in America since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a series of one-minute speeches on the House floor. The speeches will continue until Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan channels the will of the American people by allowing Congress to take a vote on one of a number of bipartisan proposals to curb the national epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence.
“We stand here in this building, the United States Capitol, secured by police at every door, and do nothing, while men, women and children are being shot dead in broad daylight in public places across this nation. Yet the Speaker of the House cannot summon the courage to let Congress act on even one of any number of bipartisan gun safety proposals that could save lives.
"Moments of silence do nothing to honor these victims unless they are followed by moments of action. For as long as it takes, I will remind the Speaker of the human cost of his inaction," he added.
Peters said he is demanding Congress adopt new laws that encourage responsible gun ownership while still protecting Second Amendment rights, such as closing the loopholes in gun background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. While he will be reading the names of victims of mass shootings, Peters acknowledges that every death from gun violence is a tragedy that could potentially be prevented with more effective gun safety legislation.
"There are responsible gun owners across these United States who support expanded background checks because they know with rights come responsibilities," Peters continued. "I know we can't predict and safeguard against every potential tragedy, but if we can save even just one life, it would be worth it."
Rep. Peters is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan King-Thompson background check legislation and a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives. Earlier this year, he joined former Republican San Diego Mayor and Police Chief Jerry Sanders and San Diegans in signing a letter to Congressional leaders calling on them to take action to end the epidemic of gun violence across the country. Rep. Peters delivered the same letter to Speaker Ryan last week.
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.