tv Discussion on Gun Violence Prevention CSPAN September 18, 2019 8:01pm-9:39pm EDT
coming up tonight, a meeting on the gun violence prevention task force. and the tea party patriots holding a conference. president trump announcing his new security advisor and later a preview of friday state dinner for the australian prime minister. next the house gun violence task force, hearing about the impact of guns in their lives. the effect on their community and what legislative steps could curb gun violence. this is just over an hour and a half. >> we will come to order, please. we welcome everyone and thank them for being here. our speakers, thank you for being here. our fellow members and guests of the committee, thank you.
we are here today because 203 days ago, the house passed bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. and the u.s. senate has done nothing. after every mass shooting that makes the headlines, leader mcconnell says it's too soon to talk about policies. there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in the year. if we wait for a day without gun violence to talk about it, we will be waiting forever. the senate leader mcconnell hopes if he waits this out, it will go away. well, we're not going away. children are dying and the trauma is scaring an entire generation. as of this week, 500 children under the age of 11 have been killed or injured by someone using a gun.
over 2,000 kids between the ages of 12-17 have been killed or injured by someone using a gun. almost every child in america has experienced an active shooter drill. schools are now being designed to give kids hiding places because congress refuses to act. this is shameful. we are here today to call on the senate to act on h.r. 8, because our children are dying and a generation of kids is scared to go to school or concert or to church or to a festival. it doesn't have to be like this. senator mcconnell has called himself the grim reaper. he was referring to a legislative grave yard. sadly, that are legislative grave yard is leading to more real grave yards. people are dying. children are dying. senate inaction is unacceptable.
it's time for the senate to put children first and vote on h.r. 8. now i'm going to introduce the panelists that you'll hear from. each panelists will have four minutes to make your presentation. anything else you would like to give us, we'll take and make available to all the members and will be put in the record and after that, i recognize the members for four minutes each for them to ask their questions. and to my colleagues, just a reminder that your four minutes will be allotted for your questions or statements and the panelists' responses. we have a hardout and we must close this forum no later than 2:00 or as early when votes are called. our first witness and this will be the order in which you'll testify, dr. leading expert on the public health crisis of gun
violence and conducted extensive research on the topic and susan b. parker chair in violence prevention at the university of california at davis. destiny is a youth leader and active member of students demand action. destiny has been exposed to gun violence since the age of 7. ray mcmurray is from the american federation of teachers and taught in public schools for 18 years and is a gun owner. the national parent-teacher association president and mother, grandmother and a child advocate. colonel edwin is the chief of police in the fairfax, virginia and member of the mayors-city chiefs association. thank you for being here.
and doctor, we'll start with you. >> mr. chairman and members, thank you. i'm a practicing emergency medicine physician and director of the university of california firearm violence research center. firearm violence is among america's most salient health problem. in the 10 years ending 2017, civilian fatalities from firearm violence and i include suicide and homicide here, fatalts exceeded american fatalities in world war ii. homicides and suicides are both increasing, homicide by 2% by 2014, suicide by 41% since 2006. mass shootings are changing the character of america cap public life. we think twice about going to the mall, movie theater, our place of worship.
we make escape plans and we wonder if it is safe to bring our children and indeed children are at risk. in that same 10-year period, we lost 14,313 children under the age of 18 to firearm injuries. firearm-related deaths among american children has increased by 44% from 2013-2017, increase of 11% per year. comprehensive or universal background check policies receive extraordinarily high levels of support from the american public. we learned just last week that nearly 90% of us support comprehensive background checks with differences of less than 5 percentage points between gun owners and nonowners and between democrats and republicans.
there is little question but the background checks and denials of reduce risk of violence among the individuals whose purchases are denied. however, research has often not found a population level impact on firearm violence. this poses a paradocks. -- paradox. how is it that a policy that is effective on the persons directly affected not seems to have a population-wide benefit. the answer can be found in significant flaws in the design and implementation of policies up to this time. there are nine important problem areas. i will mention one of them today. consider the public mass shootings in texas, charleston, south carolina, virginia tech university. the shooters in all those cases
were prohibited from purchasing firearms. they were nonetheless able to do so because background checks did not identify them as prohibitive, the necessary information was simply missing from the data. underreporting appears to be widespread such there are many thousands of persons who are prohibited but whose prohibitions will not be detected by background checks if they seek to purchase firearms. reporting of these data by state and local agencies is voluntary. that said, the situation has improved. several of the studies including those by our group suggesting a lack of population will benefit from these policies were conducted by 15, 20 years or more. similar studies conducted on more recent data would yield positive results. and very detailed information on the shortcomings and on
recommendations for their improvement has been compiled under the bureau of justice statistics. a summary of this information will be appearing in the peer-reviewed "health affairs" in two weeks. i'm optimistic that an implemented system of background checks would do much to reduce rates of firearm violence. thank you. >> i'm a 19-year-old from baltimore, maryland. i am currently enrolled in the community college where i major in english. i became a victim to gun violence when i was seven. at the age of nine i saw my
first dead body. this has been the norm in my life since birth. i have been plagued with normalized gun violence. i have lost five friends to guns this year and over a dozen in my lifetime. i said before you today not as a statistic of youth in baltimore, but a pillar for the youth who have been affected for the lack of regulation for guns. in maryland, firearms are the number one cause of death among children and teenagers. black youth are five times more likely to die by guns. were involved in a quadruple shooting that left my .riend dead according to the baltimore sun, there have been over 222 homicides in 2019. 11 under the age of 18.
as a youth that has lived with the plague of gun violence, it is impossible to combat gun violence without addressing the root cause that stems from economic injustice and racism. homicides,ce, nonfatal shootings and exposure reflect this country's long standing racial inequities but the media is carrying on a narrative of demonizing poor black and brown communities. this same narrative has been used as an excuse to justify mass incarceration that black and brown folk experience in our neighborhoods. instead of addressing the root causes such as capitalism and imperialism, and poverty to name a few in dealing with the government incorporations,
mainstream averts that black and brown people are the problem. policy decisions, a history of red lining have resulted in segregating neighborhoods. black people are disproportionately more likely to be victims of gun violence and made worse with the easy access of getting guns. our goal is to make hold gun dealers. and tough on crime bills. a federal background check law would prohibit people from buying guns by requiring background checks. state laws requiring are associated with the 48% lower rate of gun checks and 29% lower rate across state lines. we can't forget that suicide with a firearm makes up 2/3 of gun violence. suicide attempts not involving a
firearm, but for gun suicides, more than 85% will result in death. every day, future leaders are taken from us. my friend described that suicide is an unbearable pain. gun violence steals mothers, fathers and sisters and brothers. when connecticut passed a law that everyone has to pass a background check, there was a 15% reduction. the house has passed two commonsense gun safety laws. if we implement back grouped checks, it won't hurt anyone. it could have served ray, aaron, but we waitednny,
too long and families and communities have to pay the price. this is the reality that my community faces every day. i don't want your pity, though. i want you to act. mr. thompson: we are sorry for your personal loss. mr. mcmurray. >> thank you for inviting me. i represent teachers and support personnel and taxes. i am the secretary treasury and i taught in the texas public school system for 18 years. during those years, i have seen the impact of gun violence on students and educators from the shocking columbine experience to what seems like countless episodes of lives being mowed down in cold blood. educators and community members have seen their schools turned into violent crime scenes and war zones and unacceptable ways.
in my home state we witnessed domestic terrorism at the hands of a white nationalist perpetuating a hate crime. only weeks later, officers and citizens were killed at the hands of a sick individual who should not have been able to access a firearm. a.f.t. colleagues from douglas high school in florida and sandy hook and countless schools across the nation agree that the trauma and angstity gun violence creates will simply not vanished nor will it be stopped calling for armed teachers. more must be done and more must be done now to provide mental health to students. more must be done to invest in community schools, peer counseling, wellness programs and reduce bullying behavior and
more must be done to prevent dangerous individuals from buying firearms. congress can help or continue to do little or nothing further allowing children to live in fear. we must work to pursue and implement commonsense solutions to reduce violence. one of those most commonsense solutions is expanding the back ground check system. the system stopped the el paso shooter and expanded back might have stopped him from buying arms. i know members of congress before me here today have already helped to pass legislation out of the house of representatives. when i say congress needs to do something, i'm speaking to my home state senators. every elected official in this country takes an oath to protect and defend its people.
but too many have fallen down on the job but we demand they do better. my senators need to understand our teachers refuse to believe that nothing can change. we will continue to demand that thoughts and prayers be met with policy changes and we will hold accountable every single legislator who stands in the way. it is time for senators cornyn and cruz to exhibit true leadership. there are commonsense legislation that can reduce guns getting into the hands of the wrong people while protecting the second amendment. i'm a seventh generation texan. i support the second amendment. i'm a gun owner and concealed permit carrier and holder in the state of texas.
my second amend rights are not by expanded background checks. there is a path forward and i'm here to ask the senators to get it right and i appreciate your service. thank you very much. >> all members of the gun violence task force, thank you for the opportunity to speak here today and for the task force leadership since 2012 to put forward legislation to reduce gun violence in our country. i'm here today on behalf of national p.t.a. with members in all 50 states, d.c., the u.s. virgin islands, puerto rico and europe. no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home for school or anywhere else. and no child should live in fear every day wondering if this is the last day they will see their family.
since 2013, there have been 471 incidents on school grounds. thousands of children across this great country have been a witness to gun violence in their homes, schools or communities. at p.t.a. we have issued so many statements on mass shootings at schools. over the years that we now keep a draft on file at all times. in every statement, we remind the nation that our students deserve to have a safe environment to learn and thrive. in every statement, we urge congress to do more. now is time to act. doing nothing is unacceptable. this august, i published an op ed asking congress to enact commonsense proposals such as passing red flag laws, universal background checks and banning assault weapons.
i will put the majority of american support. congress chose not to return this summer. so i'm here again asking for change on behalf of children and our families. universal background checks can and will save lives. this commonsense measure would have saved seven lives and prevented deaths. it would have prevented to the 17 month old daughter. anderson is a toddler, the only pain she should have known is from scraped knees when she was learning to walk. she was shot through her bottom lip and tongue because the man was able to purchase a semi-automatic rifle thanks to a loophole. kelly was going about her typical saturday afternoon.
when anderson was shot in the back seat of her car. as a mother and grandmother, i can't imagine the fear she felt. when her daughter was shot, her other child sat in the back seat next to her horrified. kelly did everything to do to protect her twins but nothing to prevent her babies being shot from a man who never should have had a gun. i have heard the arguments that no matter what laws you passed, there will be those that break it. i get it. you can make that argument with speed limits. people break them every day, but does that mean we don't need them? no, they prevent accidents and save lives. we need speed limits just like we need universal background checks. so my question today is do our
elected officials, including our president value our nation's children and families enough to put a law in place to protect them the best that it can or will continue to do nothing? to be clear, national p.t.a. is not about taking away an individual's second amendment right. what we are about is ensure laws that eliminate the current background loopholes for online sales. my husband was a former police officer in texas and every member of my family is a gun owner. gun ownership is not the issue here. the issue is ease of access to firearms and assault weapons including those who are a danger to those and others. we are so appreciative of passage of h.r. 8 which our association endorses. now it's our turn to act. i urge senator mcconnell to
bring senate bill 42 to the floor to address our nation's gun violence epidemic and protect our children and family. the senate needs to pass and the president must sign this bill is the reasonable first step to address gun violence in our country. thank you for this opportunity. mr. thompson: thank you very much. >> good afternoon chairman and task force members, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak. i'm here not only as the chief of police of fairfax and the major chiefs association and more importantly as a parent of three children that are productive community members in our society. i urge all of us to make sure that our representatives take action to combat the mass
shootings and gun violence in our country. these tragic events are plaguing our nation and cutting short precious human lives, especially the young people of our communities. i submit this plea to you on behalf of the major city chiefs association, the brave officers that we lead throughout this nation that serve our communities. as the chief of police of fairfax county, i'm proud that my county of every major jurisdiction in the u.s. is the safest place to live, play, work and grow old. however, gun violence is present in fairfax county. and i wanted to start with two examples from the recent year. two tragic cases, both the same, unrelated to each other, but the same, a young mother takes a firearm and kills her two young children and then uses the gun
as a mechanism to have death by suicide. one in mclean, virginia and great falls, virginia. unacceptable. this trauma needs to stop. and major city chiefs association and the american people have looked to the united states congress and the white house for many years to take a leadership role in passing commonsense measures to keep firearms in the hands of law-abiding americans and out of the hands who will do harm to our families, friends, neighbors and everyone that we love in our community. we urge you in the strongest possible terms to immediately act to reduce the trauma of the every day gun violence and slaughter of innocent people during what feels like a never-ending episode of mass shootings in our country, in our
schools, entertainment venues places of worship, businesses and homes. we have supported and fought for legislative initiatives that would help us keep our communities safe, but for too long, special politics have stood in the way of life-saving actions. we strongly support h.r. 8 requiring background checks for every firearm sale. but we believe this is just a start of what needs to be done. we call on congress to move forward with broad legislative response. and we call on the president to support this effort. the major chief cities associations joins the voices of millions of americans who demand universal background checks, red flag, a ban on high capacity magazines and host of commonsense legislation that will keep our communities safe.
as additional research is conducted on gun violence and mass shootings, we have begun to view this violence as a public health issue, not just a law enforcement issue. this has broadened the thinking on our strategies that can be deployed. action aimed of keeping guns out of the hands of people with intent to do harm is needed now. regarding a universal background check is a good start. restricting through age restriction and safe storage requirements and extreme risk laws will build upon h.r. 8. we have long supported other measures that would combat gun violence. we thank you for this effort here today and we also appreciate the effort of the alcohol, tobacco and firearm agents throughout this country
and h.r. 8 will help all of us in law enforcement collectively work with our advocates and our community members to make america safe from gun violence. we share these recommendations with you and also understand there are critics of h.r. 8 and we tell you that universal background checks will not stop gun violence, but the fact is, it will stop some gun violence. there is no one strategy. however, combining a number of legislative initiatives, we can go a long way in our ability to save lives just like the lives of those four young children. the speaker: i did hear your
dothe congress would not anything about gun violence. they would not hear our bills or give us a vote or a hearing. absolutely nothing. leader pelosi created this task force. today speaker pelosi has been on the tip of this beer making sure making sure we passed laws to keep our community safe. i would like to recognize the speaker for a statement. pelosi: the distinguished leadership you have attracted are making a difference in our country. 90% of the american people support hr eight, our common sense legislation and i appreciate the testimony today. my apology for not being here.
i had to open the house at 12:00 noon and greet our visiting chaplain. i have read your testimony. i appreciate what you have said. mass shootings are changing the character of america's public life. thank you for framing it that way as we challenge the congress and the president to do more. i did hear your testimony and so sad that you have lost friends, five friends, maybe more in terms of injuries but five friends and this is mr. thompson's focus has been protecting the children, hence the name and the need to pass universal back ground checks. he is joined in that by congresswoman kelly who has been a champion on saying, while our hearts break and we mourn and act upon the high profile events, we must remember that
every single day in our cities and across the country, we lose young people to gun violence. for taking phillips the time. he was just married this weekend. this was important to be here. the list goes on. of our members consider this a priority. i want to acknowledge the work mr. mcmurray talked about to ensure domestic tranquility. yesterday was the birthday of our constitution. yesterday. it's ratification. beautifulquote in the preamble, to ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the
common defense. that is our purpose. let's get it done. i thank you for that. and yes, we did call upon the president and the senate to come back in the summer and pass h.r. 8. our house members were prepared to mark up bills until the hurricanes came to the east coast andville marked them up. but thank to the p.t.a. the question we are asking today to legitimated officials, value our nation's children. on that family and children. on sunday, marked 200 days since we sent the legislation, h.r. 8 to -- excuse me to mitch mcconnell to the senate. leader schumer and i called the president on sunday and said 200 days, 100 people a day on average.
encourage the republican leadership to take up this bill and sign this legislation to save lives. i said i pray for you and your family and your safety. i also pray your heart will be families inect the america. other children in america whose lives are at stake and at risk. i was so pleased to see the major chiefs association, their testimony here today and also the letter that you sent earlier. we could say law enforcement, teachers, health care providers, p.t.a., young people, doctors, health care providers, as i mentioned, all support this measure. gun owners, 90%, 90%, some of the advisers say, well it will hurt politically.
there isn't one survivor of one political person is not worse, -- is not worth the survival of our children and they have to know that. i thank you all for your testimony. but what i told the president, he is going to let us know what he decides, but i said we are not going away until the job is done. we are going keep open that door with h.r. 8, 1112, the timing issue and certain things we can do but will save most lives in the shortest period of time right now is to pass h.r. 8 and 1112 and we hope the president will give a positive sign. understand your power, your testimony supports, hopes and prayers, whatever.
mr. thompson has declared himself a very prayerful person and thoughtful person that he is. we have to act and we cannot use hopes and prayers for any excuse for not acting. thank you for taking the time to make the case to strengthen the case and i thank the chairman for his distinguished services. mr. thompson: members will be recognized for four minutes to inquire of the witnesses. and we'll start with mr. phillips. mr. phillips: thank you to my task force colleagues and witnesses, thank you for being here. destiny, you used the word normalized in your testimony and i want you to know we cannot and will not let gun violence in america become normalized and we cannot and will not let the majority leader of the united
states senate obstruct the will of the american people and i'm saddened and frankly appalled that we have to have a hearing like this today, but it is the beginning and i'm grateful to all of you for being here. we now live in a country in which our children have to be subject to active to shooter drill in schools and parents have to consider buying their children bulletproof backpacks. i'm the father of two daughters in college and think about them when they go to the concert or store or college classroom is something i will not tolerate. to that end, my first question is please talk to us about the emotional toll on the health and well-being and academic achievement that the fear of gun violence is having on students and teachers.
>> thank you for the question. as i mentioned before, we had a shooting in my hometown, so i'm witnessing firsthand and how it is impacting them and the students that they serve and the families they serve. i have a goddaughter that goes to middle school and she used to walk home to her grandmother's every day. she know longer can do that because the fear and the trauma that she's felt by witnessing the shooting that happened in her community, she know longer feels safe. when you ask me how children and families see, you not only see students who are now afraid and question everything that happens within and around their schools, but you see parents who are no longer able to walk up to a school to retrieve their children and keeping them in
auditorium and calling them out to the cars because they are fearful. i see lockdowns happening and schools are a fortress than a welcoming environment. and this is happening across the country not just in my hometown, but you see students that are dealing with it every day and it impacts not in the short term, not just when the mass shooting happens but for years to come. and i find it very sad that we have now the opportunity to create change and yet we are still battling this change. >> thank you for the question. i did teach and coach in the texas public school system for many years and i remember the day that columbine happened and that was in colorado. but that unleashed a generation
of students that i think were exposed to a level of violence and distrust where they are growing up in a whole different set of circumstances. i remember that day when i walked into that classroom. what do you say, you look the students in the eye and you have to talk about that. i had to address just what happened. i didn't know it was going to happen over and over and over again over the next 10, 15, 20 years. that day, i remember looking at my students for the first time and was no longer about me and those students and what we were learning and being in an and -- an educational environment. and then wonder with the students, what is under that coat or jacket. it creates the dynamics of what we are producing and who we are and what we are about and what it means to be an academic institution, all of that culture
has changed. mr. thompson: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. kelly. you are recognized. ms. kelly: according to the national center for injury prevention and control, more than die from gun control and we 31,000 know it's 35,000 and all too often communities that i represent see shootings. in 2019, chicago has more than 330 homicides from gun violence and edging towards 1,800 shot and 24 homicides in the month of september. a recent study found that the loss of quality of life psychological and emotional trauma declined property values and societal consequences and cost $174 billion that the
government absorbing $12 billion in costs. this should be investment for providing communities. the cost of gun violence and lack of economic opportunity just doesn't hurt our families but creates a void that is sometimes filled with violent behavior. last congress, i introduced the urban progress act or up, that would help fill this void this economic opportunity and strengthening community relations and one additional area to explore to address gun violence as my colleague talked about is to increase mental health access for those who have been affected. and i wanted to ask miss destiny her thought schools don't have social workers or counselors. there is the access. >> in my testimony, i spoke on
the generational curse, comes generational trauma and there is a quote that especially in baltimore, we have broken people raising broken people and i want to emphasize that because baltimore is not a bad place, it's just broken and gun violence is multifaceted. it is ignored to the extent that we are trying to find one solution and there is no one solution to every problem. and so, the only truly recourse to stem and prevent violence in black communities are to implement resources within those communities that they lack. and like representative robin kelly was talking, trauma-informed resources are greatly needed within our school systems. back to the broken people, it's a cycle of re-occurring trauma.
for me, i have dealt with trauma. the proper help and necessities to treat that trauma, i implement trauma on other people. if i was not a person who said in my mind, i could cause trauma to someone else. that's how the cycle of trauma continues. if in schools we were to make them trauma-informed, we'd be able to decrease the amount of violence that happens within those schools and communities. ms. kelly: thank you. is there any specific data targeting urban communities on mental and physical trauma care, best practices to curb gun violence that we see across urban communities? >> the data are not specific to urban communities. but we do know that the consequences of experiencing violence with a firearm are more serious and long-lasting than
are the consequences of experiencing violence with some other weapon or with no weapon. firearms are different. ms. kelly: thank you. just for the record, colonel, background checks will help? >> yes, they will. a great start. thank you. >> thank you. mr. rush, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. rush: i want to thank you, mr. chairman. next month in october is the 20th anniversary of the killing of my son, huey, on the streets of chicago. he was shot down in a robbery attempt. 20 years later, i can still hear
the squeal of his mother when the doctor pronounced him dead, that scream that only a mother can make still penetrates my consciousness. and this is the question i have for any of the panelists who would like to respond. too many of us have been directly impacted by gun violence. whether it be a family member, a loved one, a classmate or beloved colleague that may have been killed. it feels like a sense of worthwhile humanity, the emotional toll, the vacuum that's created and caused by
this senseless sudden loss of life. it seems no one really hears the pain and the squeal, the sense of loss. we hear from talking heads in the media, we listen to the empty-handed, empty-minded, empty suits that are supported by the n.r.a., that espouse this insensitive coverage about guns don't kill people, people kill people. and we all know that this is nothing but total nonsense. but with this loss and these
conversations about gun violence is the human toll, the suffering of family members and communities, friends, the sense of horror and emptiness that's caused by the instant loss of life of a loved one. of young people that had so much promise that were taken away far too soon. so i'm planning to introduce legislation to establish a national memorial or even museum dedicated to these victims so that they become not just a statistic, not just a number, but a life lived and a person loved.
i'd like to get your response to this idea of a memorial or a museum. >> thank you, sir. on behalf of my colleagues, including myself, we engage with our community members on an annual basis with our victims services staff, our domestic violence detectives, to make sure that, one, we never forget those that lost their lives to gun violence and other homicide victims. and we light candles at a memorial service in the community, we do 5-k walks, and we leverage the advocates just like we're doing today in our local communities. to stop the violence. and the missing piece, obviously, is the legislative effort. but you're absolutely right. we cannot forget those that
perished in this unfair trauma inflicted upon the united states. a young community member from baltimore here traumatized but she's doing something about it. we need to do more and informing people of the trauma is a great start. >> thank you very much. mr. schneider, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. schneider: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for organizing this hearing. i want to thank all the witnesses for coming here and courageously, passionate and eloquently sharing your perspectives, telling your stories. ms. pilpot, to experience what you've experienced, i cannot imagine. in my own personal story, i am named after my mother's uncle, my uncle samual was murdered in 1943. when i decided to run for office 70 years later and raised the issue with my mother and her siblings, about talking about my uncle, it was as if i had took a
band-aid off an open wound that never healed because they never do heal. and what we're seeing in our schools, in our public places, in our workspaces, a greater frequency and intensity of mass shootings, more and more families are having that experience. more and more families are, as you said, the broken communities, broken people. we have a responsibility as a nation and within our communities to help restore these families, to give them the ability to find comfort and to continue to build. but we also have a responsibility to take measured steps to try to reduce this gun violence. that includes background checks, that includes closing the loopholes that allow people like the charleston shooter to acquire a weapon. it includes new laws on going across state lines.
we need to invest in the research as a nation. what i'd like it ask the panel is what also can we do to empower our communities and, ms. pilpot, if i can start with you, because you're there in the community, with young people, what more can we do for you and your fellow students, fellow young people to empower you to make a difference? ms. pilpot: as an activist, a youth activist in baltimore, i always talk about resource availability and restorative justice and housing justice and economic justice within baltimore. we see deficits within our school systems, buildings that are falling apart, you can't have a substantial amount of kids that want to be in school in circumstances like that. or coming from communities where they might not be able to leave
because there was a shooting right down the street from their school. or their mother or father was shot, like my friend milton. there's a lot that my community needs. there are different -- there are so many different viewpoints that we have to look at if we're going to address the root causes of violence. like i said, there's no one solution to every problem. because if you want to address every problem that happens in urban communities like mine, you have to be willing to address the root causes of violence. it's a long list and a longstanding what have we need to do and the steps we need to take. but i think the first step is providing resources in these communities. mr. schneider: thank you. chief, let me turn to you. i'll ask it in two questions. the first is a fairly by as i -- basic question. would passing h.r. 8, the background check bill that this house passed more than 200 days ago, would that help? and then, are there other things we can do to empower you and
people in your position to reduce gun violence? >> absolutely. passing h.r. 8 will help. you the other things that we can do were just stated bluntly by my colleague here. when we look at our community and the root causes of violence, obviously the availability of guns is the number one leading cause of the violence. but my peers and i as law enforcement officers, we need to engage with everybody else in the community and our local government and state government and federal government to bring the resources to heal the community. whether it's public housing, the fear, anxiety, partnerships with schools. we need to be in the fabric as law enforcement leaders and officers with everyone. and together as a community, to you have safer environment to travel to and from school, as the examples given here today.
safe classrooms. and to produce productive community members. it's all our responsibilities. and if we start with restricting you the ability to have a gun in an illegal manner, that's a great start. mr. schneider: thank you. i know for me, 75 years after my uncle's death, we continue to fight to make progress and i honor his memory. i promise you, ms. pilpot, we'll honor milton's memory and the memory of all your friends. thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. sarbanes, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. sarbanes: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for convening this hearing and for your leadership of the task force and i want to thank our witnesses for coming today. as many of you have pointed out, what we need right now desperately are profiles in courage. we need to see that on the senate side. we need mitch mcconnell to stand up for the 90% of americans who
want to see these commonsense gun safety measures put in place, rather than assisting in holding us hostage to the 10%. it doesn't make any sense. it's incomprehensible. and it's indefensible, the position that he's taking. this house has acted, as you know, with h.r. 8 and h.r. 1112, we did it early. it was actually the first major bill, piece of legislation that was passed in this congress by the house of representatives. was h.r. 8. to put in place universal background checks. it's been months and months and months that we've been waiting for the senate to act. as many of my colleagues have said, we're not going to let up, as speaker pelosi indicated. we're going to keep the pressure on.
part of the reason i have some confidence and optimism that that is going to make a difference this time is because of the advocacy that's coming from people like those of who you are testifying today. fundamentally, it's about whose side are we on? are we on the side of americans who are increasingly fearful about gun violence in every community? and we need mitch mcconnell to stand on the side of our citizens who want to see these measures put in place. you often hear people say, and there was an allusion to this earlier, that, you know, universal background checks aren't going to solve everything. that's true. but it will make a difference. destini, you mentioned or you observed that universal
background checks are not going to hurt anyone. but they can save a lot of lives. the thing that makes me most frustrated when we have these high-profile tragic mass shootings is the sense of powerlessness that follows in their wake. which i think is corroding at the psyche and spirit of the nation. that we can't seem to do just one thing after these tragedies. just one thing. are we that weak, are we that powerless? and so while passing a universal background check will not solve everything, it will solve that sense of powerlessness we feel, because it will show that we actually can do something. we can begin to fight back.
just 30 seconds left. destini, thank you for being here. thank you for fighting on this issue. thank you for fighting for baltimore. i love that city the way you do. and i'm proud to represent it. real quick, do you feel like some of your peers are becoming motivated by the kind of action you're taking and that together you all are making a difference and can make a difference? ms. pilpot: by amplifying the youth voice, yes. when they see we are able to come out and we are able to use our voices to make a change, it motivates them to want to come out. because sometimes we feel so voiceless and understanding that we do have a voice that has power makes them want to get out and do more to implement change within our communities. mr. sarbanes: thank you. i thank all of you. i yield back. >> thank you. dr. ruiz, you're recognized for four minutes.
mr. ruiz: thank you, mr. chairman. i cannot emphasize strongly enough that this is a public health issue. and as an emergency physician and public expert, i am heartened to see a fellow emergency physician and public health expert on our panel today. doctor, thank you for sharing your moving story and thank you for your work to save lives. we have both seen the realities in being in the front lines when victims of firearm violence roll into our emergency departments and we work to save their lives, we've mourned with their families. when the medical care can't overcome the devastation of a bullet, we're the ones that usually have to tell the family members. there's no other group other than the victims themselves and the survivors that can really experience that horrendous suffering that happens. but those are the stories that we take home and we contemplate for the rest of our lives as
well. taking a public health approach to firearm violence makes sense. we've used a public health approach in this country before. we've used public health research to craft strong tobacco policy and we've saved lives in motor vehicle crashes. but when it comes to firearm violence, people are dying and it's hard to come by good answers on how to prevent these deaths. so in your definition, what is your definition to clarify it of what a public health approach to gun violence is? >> thank you. the best articulation of that point of view i've ever heard came from dr. david satcher right after he took over as head of c.v.c. -- cdc. he said to "the new york times," look, if violence isn't a health problem, then why are all these people dying from it? it really is just that simple. there are death, there are injuries, there are long-term consequences to those that are affected, to our communities. we vastly underestimate those consequences. mr. ruiz: what does it mean to
take a public health asfloach -- to take that approach. >> what it means to take that approach is to study this as if it were a health problem, which it is. to understand what the risk factors are at the individual and, as destini has pointed out, at the societal level. to understand how to sbreern between risk and outcome so risk factors don't necessarily mean that bad things happen. one way to do that is to enact comprehensive background checks. which will identify people who have risk factors, prevent them from acquiring the firearms with which they would do firearm violence. can't shoot somebody if you don't have a gun to do it with. it is really that straightforward. it's a time-tested approach. we're using it for opioids right now. mr. ruiz: we make sure that high-risk individuals, like people who have shot somebody else in the past, don't get their hands on guns, right? mr. wintemute: that's correct. mr. ruiz: what else has the scientific evidence shown to help reduce overall risk and incidents of gun violence
deaths? mr. wintemute: another time-tested approach is to broaden the criteria for prohibition. i'll give one example. there are others. in california we have enacted a law that prohibits people who have been convicted of misdemeanor violent crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms for 10 years. in most of the country, it is simply a myth that people convicted of violent crime cannot legally purchase firearms. our work has shown that that new policy, reduced risk for violent crime among the people who are directly affected by 25% to 30%. that's a big difference. mr. ruiz: and what further research would you like to see?
mr. wintemute: you ask a researcher that question. i will prioritize this. i don't think we know nearly enough about the consequences, the effects, again, not only on people who have been shot and their family members, but on communities, on the communities of people who care for the people who have been injured. mr. ruiz: in the world of prevention, what other research would you suggest? mr. wintemute: i would like to see intervention trials. where states, since congress has not acted, states are again serving as democracies, laboratories are enacting new policies in an effort to prevent violence. we need to see if those policies have their intended effects. mr. ruiz: thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. pascrell, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for putting this together today. we've done a lot of work over the last several months. this didn't just happen. i want to thank the panel. you're brave people to come to give testimony today. doctor, we're going to need you and people like you to convince -- i get a charge out of people talking about the fact that, and
this is a sign of mental illness whenever there's a shooting, these are the same people who didn't really support mental health parity. you take a look, i'm not joking about it, this is serious business. patrick kennedy came to this house and let us, if you remember, to legislation dealing with the very things you've been talking about. destini, i project in 10 years, think about it, that you'll be safe and sound and still doing what you're doing and teaching us. ray, as a teacher you have a tremendous amount of influence. the kids shall lead, as parkland proved, the children shall lead us.
leslie, p.t.a.'s, and what they're doing now -- because they understand the severity of the situation. thank you. colonel, i want to talk to you heart to heart. 28 years ago, as the mayor of the city of patterson, new jersey, i stood with the governor on the steps of city hall in patterson to sign one of the first bans in this country of assault weapons. and as i went to city hall that day, i went to the police station, i'm sorry, i saw police on the top of the garages and buildings around city hall. i walked in and i said to the
public safety director, what are they doing up there? looks like an armed camp. he says, it is. we've had threats on both you and the governor. so therefore come follow me. i followed him into the police office there, his office, the director's office. and he gave me my first flak jacket. he said, you're going to have to wear this out to the ceremony. in order to sign the ban on assault weapons. and so does the governor as well. my job, colonel, my job is to protect you. my job is to protect every police officer. so while i'm functioning here about children and priorities, i want you to know that you are a priority. i do everything as the co-chair of public safety, the congress of the united states, to get to that point, because you are our
first line of defense. background checks are going to help us. you know more than anybody else in this room how effective they are. how it helps you in an investigation. i know it's after the fact, but you're in place to do that. you need all the help that you need, besides a trained police officer, besides a well-armed police officer. our policemen, mr. chairman, are outgunned and outstaffed. so those who yell law and order, those who point out that these mental people out there are doing all of these things, and we don't have to worry about it, guns kill people. no. people kill people. that's their motto. put it on a bumper sticker and see how many kids it saves. say how many police officers it saves.
so if i don't do my job, then you should get rid of me and put someone else in my place who can do that job. and i thank you for all your service. you've done a heck of a job here today, i'll tell you. thank you, chairman. >> thank you. mr. evans, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. everett: thank you, chairman thompson for holding this hearing, and thank you to the witnesses with us today. in 1993, the cdc showed bringing a gun in the home brings everyone to a much greater risk of gun violence. the n.r.a. disputed the findings of the study in 1996. congress revoked the ability to research gun violence as a public health issue. earlier this year, thanks to madam chair of the appropriations committee, the house passed what will be the first federal funding for gun research in 23 years. i was proud to vote for that $50 million.
gun violence is a public health issue. guns kill nearly 40,000 americans in 2017. that's 40,000 americans. as a comparison, nearly the same number of people died from breast cancer last year. yet there's no dispute that breast cancer is a public health issue. do you know what happens when we treat motor vehicle deaths as a public health issue? the number of motor vehicle deaths decreased by 45%. doctor, in my home city of philadelphia, there was 154 killings and 631 victims of gun violence in just the first six months of 2019. not to mention the thousands of family members and friends who were affected by death or injury of a loved one by gun violence. this, doctor, guns took the lives of 102 children and young adults in philadelphia, just in
one year. this is why it is critical that the senate address the issue as our chairman has indicated in what he has stated. this is a public health issue. the philadelphia enquirer recently did a story called shot and forgotten. which i encourage everyone to read. partly in response to that story, senator kasey and i introduced the resource for victims of gun violence act. we have 62 co-sponsors in the house and i encourage all members to sign on. we must make sure that victims get the help they need. so, doctor, why is it imperative that we provide resources for those affected by gun violence? mr. wintemute: because they're suffering. people who have been shot face long-term physical and psychological disability.
the people around them face trauma, as we've heard, and are impaired in their social and emotional lives. entire communities are adversely affected. i would argue there's a moral imperative that we would provide those resources. let me double down. i think there is a moral imperative that we provide support for research. there is no such thing as intervening effectively with a complex health problem without understanding it. we don't fly blind when we go after breast cancer. we don't fly blind when we go after opioids or heart disease or motor vehicle injuries. but we are asking ourselves to fly blind when it comes to intervening and preventing firearm violence. that's just wrong. mr. evans: thank you, mr. chairman, for that time. i yield back. again, i want to thank the chairwoman of the appropriations, because it was under her leadership that we got that $50 million for the purpose of the cdc.
mr. thompson: thank you very much. mr. clay, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. clay: thank you so much, mr. chairman. let me start by saying that since april of this year, i represent st. louis, missouri and we are quickly becoming known as the murder capital of america. and since april, more than a dozen teenagers and children between the ages of 2 and 17 have been killed by gun violence. so let me start with the colonel. i heard you mention it made sense for h.r. 8 to pass through the senate and get to the president's desk, as well as the charlotte -- i mean, the charlotte loophole.
let me ask you, would it be helpful if local governments could determine their own firearms regulations, instead of being dictated to by the state, their respective states? right now 43 states limit local government from passing more stringent firearms regulations than what is allowed by the state. can i hear your opinion on that? do you think local government would be a good place to start? >> yes, i agree local government is a great place to start. fairfax county's local leaders have already started that for years. and obviously getting passed their general assembly in richmond is an obstacle.
virginia is a gun rights state like many other states. when we talk about these mass tragedies or individual tragedies, and we do the psychological autopsy, if you will, of the person that inflicted the violence, we're lacking legislation to prevent those. we know what these psychological autopsies or homicide investigations reveal to us. and when i talk to my peers across this country through major city chiefs, especially, our ability to also on a national effort report the tracking of firearms, such as transfers, the loss or theft of firearms, it's not consistent. i sit on the chair of the f.b.i.'s national incident base
reporting system and on an annual basis, we wrestle with that ability on a national level to track all of this. so, yes, we need to take local action at the same time. because we're not getting the federal action. mr. clay: on the issue of open carry, and i'm not sure what virginia's laws are, but do you ever get reports of citizens calling in and saying, hey, i saw somebody strapped with an assault rifle? carrying in the open or someone was carrying a sidearm open, do you ever get that? and don't the callers find that alarming? mr. roessler: we get those calls all the time in fairfax county, virginia, so do my colleagues in virginia. it's an open carry state. the key is to train your officers and your call takers to understand and get as much tactical information as possible.
because that too is a tragedy waiting to happen because if our officers and dispatchers are not trained to get the information, we could unfortunately take the wrong action. it's difficult. it creates fear in a community. mr. clay: i can imagine. mr. chairman, my time is up. mr. thompson: thank you. mr. costa, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. costa: thank you very much, mr. chairman, for your leadership in it important hearing and the committee, along with the speaker for her comments earlier during the hearing. i am one of the co-chairs of the victims' rights caucus and the victims' rights caucus, a bipartisan effort here for years, deals with the effects of gun violence across america. clearly what this committee's trying to do is not only pass meaningful legislation in congress, but to shed a light and to try to coordinate a strategy that involves all of
our society in america. because this is an epidemic. yesterday, a fresno high school student arrested for a post. police arrested a 16-year-old fresno high school student tuesday after the teen shared an instagram post about shooting up a school. school administrator alerted authorities to the post while police say it was a photo of a student with a caption in quotes, "felt cute, might shoot up a school later." officers found the student on campus around 6:15 yesterday. the teen was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. last year i co-sponsored an effort with local law enforcement agencies. fresno unified school district, to provide updated school safety plans. we know about students now looking for bulletproof backpacks.
we also did the same in merced with local law enforcement agencies and school administrators and school groups. this is part of an overall effort. yesterday in merced, another community i represent, usps employee shot in the head while walking home from work. it's everywhere. clearly. and, colonel, i appreciate your emphasis on the background checks. and you were also asked what else can be done and you said clearly that there's multiple efforts on a strategy because we know no single solution is going to solve this crisis in america. i guess i'd like the good doctor from uc davis and law enforcement school, it seems to me what is lacking besides the frustration we have here with the senate is how we weave together a cohesive strategy
that includes all of the above. would either of you care to comment? mr. wintemute: one thread at a time, if i might. one of those threads would be labeled extreme risk protection orders. i am responding to the anecdote you just mentioned. we know that 80% of the time people who commit mass violence declare their intention to do so in advance. people have notice of this. mr. costa: high school students. mr. wintemute: exactly right. in our state, california, and in 16 other states, people can do something. they can react to those threats and law enforcement can take action. there is federal legislation pending to encourage other states to do this and to adopt a federal erpo. mr. costa: to your point. it is the intention to protect against active shooters, bomb threats or other acts of violence. school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in a response to a direct or nearby threat.
requires staff and students. i mean, to respond quickly and comply with the rules. mr. wintemute: we recently published a series of 21 cases in california in which extreme risk protection orders were used in an effort to prevent a mass shooting. none of those mass shootings occurred. mr. costa: colonel? mr. roessler: when i take the school example, best practices across this country, school resource officers are part of the fabric, social media is where the threats are. we need to act owes those threats, door knock, -- we need to act on those threats, door knock, get them into mental health care immediately. mr. thompson: mrs. mcbath. you're recognized for four minutes. mrs. mcbath: thank you, chairman thompson, thank you for holding this really important hearing and forum as we continue to tackle the scourge of gun violence. i want to thank each and every one of that you are sitting here today, thank you for your courage. more specifically, destini, thank you very, very much.
it is critical to be title of the bill hear your voices, your peers are going to be key in helping to really eradicate what's happening across the country in unnecessary gun violence. so thank you for your courage and your fortitude to continue to be a voice of change. from school shootings to violence in our communities, children should never, ever have to live in fear of gun violence. i believe we are at a very critical moment for gun violence prevention. from expanding background checks to closing the charleston loophole, all the things that have been mentioned here, to passing a federal extreme risk protection order and, thank you, doctor, for mentioning that. we are all finally taking action. today in the education and labor committee, which i just ran in from, we did actually mark up the school shooting safety and preparedness act so that we can finally understand the problem of school shootings empirically.
this will allow us to learn more about how we can protect our children and provide resources to our schools as we work to prevent these tragedies. and we must also continue to help our children who are facing gun violence away from school, in their communities, and even in their homes. we must make sure we're protecting children from the gun violence that doesn't always make the news headlines. as you have mentioned yourself, ms. destini. my question is for the doctor. would data and collection be a helpful first step in addressing our gun violence in schools? mr. wintemute: yes. there are very limited data on school shootings, violence in schools, more generally violence around schools, which is where much of the problem is located. and more generally, there are
very limited data on the nature and severity of violence in the united states. gun violence in particular. and important sources of information that were used for research in the past have been taken off the table. it is now impossible to get access to data that were used in critical studies to understand the structure and function of criminal gun markets, for example. that research can no longer be done. mrs. mcbath: thank you. would you agree then that the $50 million that's now been cdc and the for the n.i.h. for gun violence prevention research, this information would be invaluable to being able to get to some solutions? mr. wintemute: absolutely. i think that amount would be a very good start. mrs. mcbath: thank you. ms. boggs, you may be aware of programs like those that are led by sandy hook promise, that seek to reduce social isolation at school and to teach kids the signs of a person in crisis so that we can prevent gun
violence. how can we support these types of programs, and what other steps can we take to empower our students, our parents and teachers to prevent gun violence? ms. boggs: i think congress has the opportunity to fully fund title 4-a which really is a comprehensive look at our school safety. i think parents and teachers and community members need to be a part of the conversation, to really come up with what works for their specific situation and their communities. it's important whenever we look at where we're going that collaboration is really important. i appreciate where you're going and what you want to see happen. but fully funding what we have, plus what you mentioned, the $50 million, is a great step forward. mr. thompson: thank you very much. ms. jackson lee, you're recognized for four minutes. ms. jackson lee: thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank all the witnesses
for your presence here today. i could spend time with you longer than we've had the opportunity and forgive me for stepping out. we're overlapping meetings. i want to get back here to personally say thank you. i'm going to run very quickly through my questions. anyone that wants to answer, would you agree that providing $75 million in additional funding for the national instant criminal background check to help guns stay out of dangerous criminals' hands is important, that that's a mere amount of dollars to improve that? just go quickly. colonel? not colonel but mr. mcmurrey: absolutely. ms. jackson lee: colonel? yes, all right, thank you very much. let me also indicate that a doctor of the texas children's medical center in a gun summit i had said gun violence and its aftermath cause $300 billion. i'd like to ask the doctor
, could that money be used better for gun violence research, for gun violence issues dealing with mental health rather than the $300 billion for the aftermath of violence? mr. wintemute: yes, it could be used for that and many other things. one example, if the trauma team is taking care of somebody who has been shot, that trauma team is not available to take care of somebody who has been in a car wreck. there are opportunity costs here. ms. jackson lee: i thank you. i've introduced the santa fe high school victims, many of you are aware of that. would you support the idea that to prohibit private purchase or sale of a firearm or ammunition, except through a federally licensed firearm dealer, to ensure, colonel, to ensure the fair transaction of that gun? mr. roessler: yes. to prevent loopholes, absolutely. ms. jackson lee: additionally, someone who died in santa fe, the firearm licensing and registration act provides for the licensing of a firearm and ammunition possession. would anyone want to comment on that?
>> clearly what we see in the gun violence, the majority of the people get the guns through other processes, street sales. or loopholes in the law. that's where the weakness is. ms. jackson lee: so licensing would be very helpful if that was a requirement, we also know gun trafficking impacts cities like chicago, where my good colleague and friend comes from. and people make fun of cities like chicago, washington, d.c., l.a., but they understand that guns come in from other jurisdictions, and hopefully licensing would be very helpful in that process. mr. roessler: it will reduce the illegal sales, yes. ms. jackson lee: here's one i have promoted. every spring when children are out of school, colonel, and even everyone else, you get a series of accidental shootings by the toddler, the 5-year-old, the 10-year-old who reaches into mommy or daddy's drawer, under
the bed. so, i have a kimberly vaughan firearm, another victim of the santa fe shooting, storage act, to require the safe storage of firearms and ammunition and to require investigation in improper storage. i believe in the bill of rights. i don't want to take anyone's guns away. but i appreciate if anyone just wants to make mention of that. that that is a sensible thing to have americans do. and lastly, before my time runs out, destini, if you want to comment at the end, i only have 35 seconds, does someone want to say storage is valuable? anyone on the record? mr. roessler: yes, it is. ms. jackson lee: anyone else? ms. boggs: definitely so. ms. jackson lee: destini, would you say how painful it is as a child to experience gun violence. ms. pilpot: it's painful, it's embarrassing, it's incomparable to anything else i've ever experienced in my life. seeing people that seem, and excuse my language, seeing brains on a bench outside of
baltimore, it's not something i would wish on my worst enemy. ms. jackson lee: thank you so much. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. thompson: mr. swalwell, you're recognized for four minutes. mr. swalwell: thank you, chairman. destini, i want to follow up and thank you for your advocacy, considering what happened to you and that you continue to lead this fight. how many funerals do you think you've gone to for gun violence? ms. pilpot: the amount of funerals that i was supposed to go to, whether or not i was mentally capable of, i've attended 13 funerals for my friends and that's in the last four years. there were two in which i did not attend because they happened back-to-back and i could not -- mr. swalwell: you've gone to 13 funerals for friends in the last two years who were killed by guns? ms. pilpot: yes.
mr. swalwell: do your friends and you today worry that today could be your last day on earth because of the threat of gun violence? ms. pilpot: if i'm being honest, a lot of us are scared. but a lot of us are so used to the idea that we just find it amazing that if we make it to our 18th birthday, it's just something that's like so casual . and violence and death by guns is so normalized and we're so numb to it, we're desperately working for that not to be the norm in my community. a lot of us think, i could be next. mr. swalwell: i went to chicago a couple months ago, south side neighborhood, a young woman there told me that for most young men, the only time they'll wear a suit in their life is at their funeral. is that kind of the sentiment that you see in baltimore?
ms. pilpot: a lot of the times, yes, it is a sentiment that we'll see. it's what's expected. but it's not the reality. like i said, baltimore isn't bad, it's broken. a lot of people are doing the necessary things, a lot of people do put on suits just to go to a job interview, where they may or may not get the job. mr. swalwell: i guess i was just really addressing the hopelessness that so many people expect, that before they're 18, they'll be a victim. so that's the sad side. that's the real that you deal with every day. and you're strong and you're here. can you tell us with the time you have left what people like you in your community and people like you, a young person across america, can do to make sure that people like my 2-year-old son and other people's children in america do not have to experience this in their schools, in their communities, anywhere where we gather, what can we do, how can we not live
this way? ms. pilpot: so, my friend was murdered three weeks after we led a national walkout as part of march for our lives. i think the important thing to understand is that if we do go out and we do make our voices heard, then we will give to implement change. i am not promising it will come today or tomorrow or 10 years, but we cannot afford to stay sifmente because we have a different narrative of what gun violence looks like. and the solutions that we need to fix the problem. and a lot of us in baltimore and in chicago, because i work heavily with people in chicago, we are desperately trying to implement and shift the narrative around gun violence so that it is inclusive. because gun violence is so multifaceted and we cannot afford to look at it interest -- look at it from one angle and
one perspective. to implement one narrative into it. because i might not know or have experienced mass shootings, but my friend has, right. and so the way that we go about it is, the more that we implement each other's narrative, the stronger our argument is to implement this change into every community. mr. swalwell: beautifully said. thank you. mr. thompson: thank you very, very much. thank you all for your very thoughtful and helpful testimony. i think you could hear from the questions that the members asked, we're not giving up on this. we've passed the background check bill. we know that will save lives. we know it's important. you backed that up today. we're all committed to doing everything we can to make sure kids aren't traumatized the way that they have been traumatized. the idea of, in your back to school shopping you buy bulletproof backpacks, is just ludicrous. we need to take action. senator mcconnell needs to take action. we've done our work, we've sent two good bills to the senate
that will save lives. senator mcconnell needs to do his job, take those bills up for a vote, so we can help save lives. thank you very much. we've been called to vote so i'm going to gavel out at this time. thank you very much. we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
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