June 21, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered joined Members of the House and Senate for a gun violence prevention day of action press event. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Senator Murphy, for your courageous leadership on this issue. You have been a wonderful, wonderful, not only spokesperson, but hero to all of us who care so much about the toll that gun violence takes in our country every day. An honor for us to be with so many members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. You will be hearing from some of them shortly.
I just want to again welcome Gabby Giffords back to the House of Representatives – a political, I hope, home for her, where she is always welcome. It makes such a tremendous difference because with her as an inspiration we were able to – H.R. 8, so named because it was eight years since the Tucson tragedy, and actually January 8th when it all took place. So, this number is fraught with meaning for us, and numbers are what this is about.
George Bernard Shaw once said the sign of a truly intelligent person is that he or she was swayed by statistics. And here are the numbers – I will reiterate some of what Senator Murphy said and what is demonstrated behind us.
Every year, nearly 40,000 people die from gun violence.
Every day 47 teenagers – some younger than that, children – are killed by guns. Every day.
More than 90 percent of the American people want background checks.
And since Senator McConnell refused to take up H.R. 8, 11,400 people have died from gun violence – nearly 4,000 murders.
Senator McConnell calls himself the ‘Grim Reaper.’ We cannot accept that. This bill is alive and well among the American people, as I said now nearly 90 percent support: Democrats, Republicans, nonpartisan, independents et cetera. The American people want us to be safer, to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. The Senate has the key. Give us a vote. Give us a vote. We are not going away until we get this, until the job is done.
And one of the people who was a leader in all of this in the nineties in the House of Representatives when he served there, was the next speaker, and that was the distinguished now-Leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. I had the honor of working as a sort of a peon, I mean a fairly lowly person. I was a newcomer to the Congress at the time and he was a great leader. We were very proud in California of the leadership of Senator Dianne Feinstein and now-Congressman Mike Thompson, and a leader on these issues. But in the House at that time, we were led very well – effectively and successfully – by the distinguished now-Minority Democratic Leader of the Senate, a person who is going to get the job done for us, give us a vote, here he is. Please welcome Chuck Schumer.