Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:
“This morning, the nation woke up to the incredibly sad news that Congressman and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Eugene Cummings had died at the age of 68.
“Elijah Cummings was an icon in the fight for justice and peace. He was a voice for the voiceless and a warrior for his city, his community, and his nation. As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he was a force of nature known for his straightforward questioning and impassioned speeches for the values that he believed in.
“He was a strong supporter of gun violence prevention and a fighter for laws that would build a safer and stronger America, especially in his beloved Baltimore. He felt the pain of American gun violence. Baltimore is one of many American cities where the scourge of daily gun violence is mostly ignored by the media and the American public. The people affected were Elijah Cummings’ constituents, neighbors, friends, and even his own family. In 2011, his nephew was tragically shot and killed at his college apartment in Virginia. Representative Cummings spoke often of the pain and frustration he felt when seeing white balloons or impromptu shrines of teddy bears and candles symbolizing gun violence victims. These tragedies are the reason he fought for and championed bills and policies that would reduce American gun violence, address criminal justice reform, and build stronger communities free from the epidemic caused by our nation’s easy access to guns.
“In recent years, Representative Cummings and his constituents were unfairly and inhumanely attacked from the highest office in the land. His role as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee was a threat to a corrupt and immoral administration. He used that role to shine a light on everything from the administration’s cruel family separation policy to investigating fraud at corrupt organizations like the National Rifle Association. In the face of attacks, Chairman Cummings never wavered or backed down. He never lowered himself or his reputation to vicious words and actions.
“Elijah Cummings is an American hero. His lifelong dedication to our democratic ideals will be celebrated and remembered as a beacon of light for the entire United States. Our nation is a better place because of it. Our hearts are with his wife, family, and community.”