During a House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force forum about the impact of gun violence on children, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republicans immediately hold a vote on two House-passed bills to address the gun violence epidemic in America, including H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act.
“What we need right now, desperately, are profiles in courage – and we need to see that on the Senate side,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “We need Mitch McConnell to stand up for the 90 percent of Americans who want to see these commonsense gun safety measures put in place, rather than assisting in holding us hostage to the 10 percent. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s incomprehensible, and it’s indefensible, the position that he’s taken.”
Congressman Sarbanes continued: “The thing that makes me most frustrated when we have these high-profile, tragic mass shootings is the sense of powerlessness that follows in their wake – which I think is corroding at the psyche and spirit of the nation – that we can’t seem to do just one thing after these tragedies. Just one thing. Are we that weak? Are we that powerless? And so, while passing a universal background check will not solve everything, it will solve that sense of powerlessness we feel, because it will show that we actually can do something – we can begin to fight back.”
Congressman Sarbanes also recognized one of the forum’s panelists, Destini Pilpot, a student activist from Baltimore, for her leadership in mobilizing students and advocating for gun safety.
Congressman Sarbanes concluded: “Destini, thank you for being here. Thank you for fighting on this issue. Thank you for fighting for Baltimore. I love that city the way you do, and I’m proud to represent it.”