Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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VIDEO: McGovern: Moments of Silence Aren’t Enough, Americans Need Congress to Take Action to Stop Gun Violence

Jun 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) called out House Republicans this week for refusing to take action to pass commonsense legislation to address gun violence in the wake of the tragic shooting in Orlando this past weekend. This followed an outcry by Democrats on the House floor on Monday, June 13th, after Republicans held a moment of silence and refused to answer questions from House Democrats about bringing up gun legislation. Congressman McGovern said these moments of silence are “becoming an empty gesture,” adding “It’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

Click here for video of Congressman McGovern’s speech on the House floor.

“We stood here and for 10 seconds we had a moment of silence,” said Congressman McGovern, adding “Is that it? What about legislation? What about action to prevent these types of tragedies from happening in the future?”

Congressman McGovern called for the House to take up legislation to (1) stop people on the FBI’s No-Fly list from being able to buy guns, (2) ban assault weapons like the ones used in Orlando and other mass shootings, and (3) prevent people convicted of hate crimes from being able to buy a gun.

“We have been here on this floor calling for moments of silence after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando again and again and again and again. It’s not enough,” McGovern continued. “Surely this Congress, Democrats and Republicans, can come together and do more than just have a moment of silence. This is common sense and both parties need to come together and take action.”

“It’s not enough to come here after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando where 49 people lost their lives and 53 were wounded and to just have a moment of silence,” McGovern concluded. “It’s becoming an empty gesture. We need to follow it up with action, and the American people – no matter their political ideology or political party – all want us to do something. Instead, all we can do is have a moment of silence. I would just say to my colleagues, it’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

Click here for video of Congressman McGovern’s speech on the House floor.

Full Transcript of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy in Orlando, the Speaker of the House asked for a moment of silence to pray for the victims., those who lost their lives, those were injured, and their families. And we stood here and for 10 seconds we had a moment of silence. One of our leaders, Mr. Clyburn, sought to get the Speaker’s attention to ask a question. Basically, the question was, is that it?

“What about legislation? What about action to prevent these types of tragedies from happening in the future? And he was gaveled down. And there was a lot of outrage here on the House floor. And I think justifiably so. We have been here on this floor calling for moments of silence after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando again and again and again and again. It’s not enough.”

“Surely this Congress, Democrats and Republicans, can come together and do more than just have a moment of silence. Mr. Clyburn was asking about whether or not we could bring to the floor the bill that basically says if you’re a suspected terrorist and you’re on the FBI’s No-Fly list, then you ought not to be able to go into a gun store and buy a weapon of war. Asking if that could come up for debate and could we have a vote on that?

“He was also going to raise the issue about whether or not we could revisit legislation that would call for a ban on assault weapons. The weapon that this killer used was an assault weapon and it was perfectly legal for him to buy. Is it worth a discussion as to whether or not we ought to place limits on the purchase of such weapons?

“He was also going to raise the issue about whether or not we could pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill that would prevent criminals who have been convicted of misdemeanor assaults against a victim based on his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability from causing further harm with a gun.

“This is common sense and both parties need to come together and take action. For the life of me, I can’t understand why there is a hesitancy by the leadership of this House to grapple with some of these issues. It’s not enough to come here after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando where 49 people lost their lives and 53 were wounded and to just have a moment of silence. It’s becoming an empty gesture. We need to follow it up with action, and the American people – no matter their political ideology or political party – all want us to do something. Instead, all we can do is have a moment of silence.

“I would just say to my colleagues, it’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

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