FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2019
202-408-0061 x 1017
We Must Disarm Hate
The tragic shooting at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas exemplifies the dangers of the president’s xenophobic rhetoric combined with our nation’s easy access to weapons of war.
Washington, DC (August 3, 2019) — Our deepest sympathies are with the survivors, families, and community of El Paso tonight. We are still awaiting all of the details from this horrific shooting, but the reports we’ve seen so far are absolutely devastating. We also recognize that while El Paso is being covered in newspapers and on television screens across the nation, there were nearly 100 other Americans killed by guns today — victims of gun violence in neighborhoods, domestic violence homicides, suicides, and unintentional gun deaths that will not get any press coverage or recognition. We mourn for those victims as well.
The El Paso massacre is the second high profile mass shooting in a week in which the shooter reportedly espoused hateful, racist views. This is a story that has become all too familiar. There is an armed and unregulated militia in this nation that is motivated by fear, bigotry, and racism — and they are being encouraged by Donald Trump’s rhetoric. They are feeding off of the hatred generated by our current political environment. They are armed with weapons that are intended to kill as many people as possible in a matter of minutes.
This is armed hate. It is dangerous. It is evil. We must work at the state and federal level to pass legislation that will identify and disarm dangerous, hateful individuals. We’ve repeatedly called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass legislation to address gun violence. This includes universal background checks, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and legislation that will fund research to address our gun violence epidemic. All of these bills have been sent over by the House of Representatives. The Majority Leader’s inaction is disgraceful, and he should be held responsible for this continued violence and death.
But our work does not end there. We must also address the easy availability of assault weapons. Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in the House must continue to take action. We need to reinstate the assault weapons ban immediately. It has been 15 years since this ban expired, and we have only seen the lethality of these tragedies increase. Leadership on this issue will only begin in the House.
The status quo is not working. It is unacceptable that hateful, racist individuals — emboldened by a hateful, racist president — can purchase weapons of war and destroy lives. We cannot allow this to continue. It is time for action — the American people are begging for it.