This morning, Ranking Member Nadler spoke on the House floor to demand action on gun violence prevention legislation. Watch here.
Below are Ranking Member Nadler’s remarks, as delivered:
“As we speak, thousands of young people from across the country are gathered outside to protest gun violence and to ask, to beseech, to demand that we take action.
“Ms. Speaker, we know what to do. We know that we ought to amend the law to provide effective background checks before people can purchase guns. Not just background checks when you purchase from a licensed gun dealer, but background checks when you purchase a gun anyplace. We know that we ought to eliminate the three day limits and if they don’t finish the background check within 3 days you can’t get your gun.
“We know that we should renew the assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 so you can’t buy military killing machines in this country for civilian use. We know we ought to ban the high capacity magazines that can convert guns into killing machines for large numbers of people; have no other purpose. You don’t hunt a deer with a high capacity magazine.
“Now, we ought to know and we know we ought to ban bump stocks. And we know the other things we ought to do. But we are…too many of us are cowards. We quail before the National Rifle Association. And we know the fact is that it’s guns in the hands of people that kill people. Every other country in the world, every other industrial country in the world, we stand out like a sore thumb. If you look at other statistics, this country, Great Britain, 75 people killed by guns in a year. Another country, 142.
“No country is more than 3 digits except the United States at 33,000. And they tell us it is mental health. The American people do not have a mentally ill health rate that is a thousand times, or ten times, or twenty times, or forty times more than people in Western Europe, or Japan, or Australia.
“You cannot explain a difference of 75 or 150 to 33,000 by mental health. And they tell us we should arm teachers. But we know, that trained police officers hit their targets about a third of the time when they fire a gun; and in a gun fight when the adrenaline is running, 13%. If we arm the teachers, we will have more teachers and more students killed.
“And we have a President who has shown cowardice. He criticized Senator Toomey for being afraid of the NRA and then he, after meeting with the NRA backed down on everything he said he would do. Mr. Speaker, as I said, we know what to do. We are the only country in the world with the kind of gun murder rates that we have. The Republicans have opposed all the measures that we ought to take. But the Republicans have a choice. They can continue to be complicit in the repeated slaughter in our schools, in our churches, and our concert halls, and our streets, by continuing their cowardly subservience to the NRA. Or they can act to protect us and our children. They know how to do it. They cannot have it both ways. Let’s see what they do. I thank you. I yield back.”