WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) issued the following statement:
“There are no right words in a moment like this because words are not what our children and families need—what they need and deserve is action. Parents, teachers, students, and all Americans are gutted and angry that this keeps happening, and they’re right to feel that way. Our divisions have paralyzed us as a nation, and it’s the children who are paying the price with their lives. We owe it to them, to this country we love, to recommit ourselves as relentless advocates for reducing the scourge of gun violence. Sadly, there are too many elected officials who have accepted this uniquely American tragedy as inevitable. But we can prevent this. We can prevent town names from being forever remembered by bloodshed and tragedy; first responders from walking into carnage; parents shrieking after learning their child didn’t survive. And we have the roadmap to do it.
“It starts with passing universal background checks, a commonsense reform that over 90% of Americans agree on. The refusal of Republicans in the Senate to consider this legislation is, in no uncertain terms, deadly. I stand ready, again, to work with my colleagues on action of any kind and show our students and educators we care. To the small number of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle willing to find a way forward: thank you.
“I’m a third-generation military veteran who supports the second amendment. I’m also a former educator who stood at the front of a classroom, so I know what it’s like to worry about my students. Simply put, supporting the second amendment and passing commonsense reforms to protect our children are not mutually exclusive.
“One thing we know for sure is that we must do something. I charge many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to ask themselves: what message are we sending to bad actors, who are watching our actions right now, when 19 children are slaughtered and we do nothing? I’ll tell you what message we are sending: our silence makes us complicit.”