Cicilline Implores House to Save Lives, Pass Assault Weapons Ban

Cicilline Implores House to Save Lives, Pass Assault Weapons Ban

Luke.Zakedis@m…

Fri, 07/29/2022 - 17:30

WASHINGTON, DC ­– Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), sponsor of H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban, spoke on the House floor today, urging all of his colleagues to save lives and vote for this legislation. H.R. 1808 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 25 to 18 on June 20, 2022 in the first House vote on an assault weapons ban since 1994.

A transcript of the Congressman’s remarks is below.
 
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban, legislation that will help reduce the gun massacres being committed in our communities by weapons of war.
 
These military style weapons were designed for the battlefield – for maximum efficiency when a soldier is engaged in combat.
 
And the military features banned by this bill are added to make these guns more accurate, more controllable, more concealable, and more deadly – enabling killers to murder as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
 
These weapons have no place in our communities. They turn our streets, our schools, our grocery stores, our movie theaters, and hospitals into bloody battlefield scenes, and they kill our children, our friends, and neighbors – and the police officers trying to protect them.
 
In 2016 and 2017 alone, 25 – more than two dozen – officers were slain in the line of duty by an assault weapon. One in five officers is killed in the line of duty by these weapons which is why the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association endorses this legislation.
 
Yet, for nearly 18 years, we’ve failed to take action to stop them from flooding into our communities and being used time and time and time again in mass shootings.
 
It’s unconscionable that anyone can walk into a store and legally purchase a weapon capable of inflicting the carnage we’ve seen in Highland Park, in Buffalo, in Uvalde, in Atlanta, in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland, and the list goes on and on.
 
Today, the House is finally taking a long overdue and necessary step to reinstitute a ban on these exceptionally dangerous weapons.
 
We didn’t just come up with this proposal out of thin air and propose it.
 
The original assault weapons ban was in place from 1994 to 2004, and we have clear evidence that it was effective in reducing these killings.
 
Compared with the decade before its adoption, the 1994 assault weapons ban was associated with a 25 percent drop in gun massacres and a 40 percent drop in fatalities.
 
And as soon as the ban expired, fatalities and shootings skyrocketed again.
 
And when an assault weapon is used during a mass shooting, six times as many people are shot.
 
And so today, I’m imploring my colleagues to take action to get these weapons of war – designed for maximum destruction of human life – off our streets.
 
Let me be clear: I respect the Second Amendment.
 
But it’s not without limits.
 
Imagine if we clung to the desire to protect our children and our communities as tightly as some of my colleagues cling to their rifles.
 
There are more guns than people in this country. More mass shootings than days in the year.
 
This is a uniquely American problem.
 
This bill won’t stop all gun violence, but it will effectively decrease it.
 
Because they were designed for military combat, these weapons don’t just kill, they decimate. The shots fired can tear a softball size wound into a victim.
 
And we know how we can reduce the suffering.
 
Researchers estimate that if we still had a federal assault weapons ban, we would see a 70 percent decline in mass shooting deaths.
 
Let that sink in: if the ban had remained in effect, 70 percent of the families torn apart by these massacres would still have their loved ones.
 
We can’t bring back 70 percent of these victims to their family and friends. But we can work to prevent more carnage moving forward.
 
Let me end by saying this – in my faith tradition, we are taught that, "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world."
 
Let’s come together to save lives. Pass this bill.
 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
 

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July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022

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