Rep. Eshoo Remarks at Press Conference on School Safety and Gun Violence Prevention
SAN JOSE, CA — Today Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) delivered the following remarks at a press conference at San Jose City Hall on school safety and gun violence prevention:
On May 24th we witnessed a tragedy that has become all too familiar in our country. Just two days before the end of the school year, nineteen students, ages 9 to 11—the innocence of our country, and two of their teachers, were killed in what I would call a massacre in Uvalde, Texas.
Now, with a new school year underway, active shooter drills have become part of the curriculum in schools across our country.
No child should feel unsafe going to school, they are anchor institutions in our communities.
And parents—so many parents have shared with me that in taking their children to school, they have it in the back of their minds, will I be able to pick up my child that same day?
Our nation has deadly epidemic of gun violence. Every day 30 American lives are lost to gun violence. And in 2021, over 45,000 Americans have died from guns. That number is larger than some of the communities I represent in the 18th congressional district.
And now here is one of the most chilling statistics I have ever heard: gun violence is now the leading the cause of death for children in the United States of America. Shame on us. Shame on us.
So this today is not only an effort to share with the broader community from the important stakeholders in the community, in public office, about what we are doing about this.
Congress has taken meaningful steps to make schools and other public places safer from the threat of gun violence.
One month after the Uvalde shooting, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law.
That legislation takes steps to prevent criminals from possessing guns, it does invests in mental health programs, and very importantly it strengthens school safety. It also provides incentives for states to adopt red flag laws to remove guns from those who pose a risk to themselves or others, just as we have here in California. Thank you, State Senator Dave Cortese, for that.
The law includes important investments in the safety and mental health of our children. It provides millions of dollars in mental health care, including school-based programs, and provides more resources to schools to protect themselves from armed threats.
This is the first major gun legislation passed in nearly three decades in our country. Moms Demand Action, you demanded the action and there was a response. And the NRA, I think, no longer has a stranglehold on the Congress of the United States.
But, more needs to be done. The House has passed critical legislation to ban assault weapons, and on high-capacity magazines. We also voted to require universal background checks for all gun purchases.
These bills will save lives. These bills will save lives.
And along with myself, everyone here is committed to seeing that the Senate passes the ban on assault weapons.
We know that that works because the Congress had put it in place my first term of office in the Congress. And when that expired, we didn’t have the votes.
The Republicans allowed that to expire. We didn’t have the votes but we finally did. And that’s progress.
But we need that to get across the finish line, we need more votes in the Senate.
I hope the American people will put those votes into place when they go to vote on November 8th.