WASHINGTON, DC (July 19, 2023) — Congresswoman Valerie Foushee (NC-04), a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, joined her colleagues on the floor of the United States House of Representatives yesterday to deliver a speech urging Congress to act on gun violence.
Video of the speech is available on YouTube, and for download here.
Congresswoman Foushee’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Mister Speaker, I rise today to urge Congress to confront and act on the deadly epidemic that plagues our communities each day: gun violence.
This is a painful topic and one that’s near to my heart. In this year alone, there’s been an average of 2 mass shootings per day. And gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children and teens in this country.
Earlier this month, a 5-year-old girl from my district was shot and killed by one of her family members after an argument broke out between the family member and the girl’s 15-year-old babysitter, who was also shot – 7 times.
And unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. In Durham, which is located in my district, over 20 young people under the age of 17 have been a victim of gun violence since the start of this year.
“Thoughts and prayers” are not enough and will never be enough. Gun violence victims, gun violence survivors, their families and their loved ones all deserve more. And Congress must act urgently to save lives and to keep our communities safe.
The House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force has been pushing for action by signing discharge petitions for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, and to block the Charleston Loophole.
This is a bipartisan issue that a majority of Americans support. But we need support from across the aisle.
Addressing gun violence requires an all-hands-on-deck approach that includes increasing access to mental health services, investing in youth mentoring programs, decreasing firearm access through safe storage, and much more.
And my Republican colleagues claim to be working on this issue, but not one of them has joined our task force to help end gun violence nationwide and instead, they have unilaterally worked against gun violence prevention action on this House floor.
No one in America should have to fear for their lives in our schools, our stores, our places of worship, our streets, or anywhere in our communities.
House Democrats and the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force stand united, and we will not waver. I encourage our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to put their words into action and join us in these efforts to save lives.
Thank you, Mister Speaker, and I yield back.