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Congressman Raskin's Statement on Deadly Mass Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

August 5, 2019
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Congressman Jamie Raskin issued the following statement in response to the deadly mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio:

"We send love, sympathy and solidarity to the people of Dayton, Ohio, the latest victims of a reign of gun terror across the land. Within 13 hours the twin evils of racist white nationalism and nihilistic gun violence have destroyed dozens of American lives, obliterated hope for hundreds of families, traumatized millions of people, and forced the nation to demand answers from cynical NRA-controlled political leaders.

"It is time for President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cut the crap. They must disenthrall themselves from NRA money and ideology long enough for the Senate to pass House bills that have been sitting on McConnell’s desk for months. America needs a universal criminal and mental background check on all gun purchases, which means listening to the 9 out of 10 Americans who want to close the private gun-show and Internet sales loopholes. We need to close the Charleston loophole. We need to give ATF real authority to inspect gun dealers on an unannounced basis and we also should reinstate the ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, which are weapons of warfare. All of this is perfectly consistent with what every member of the Supreme Court says the Second Amendment allows: reasonable regulation in the interests of public safety.

"The dangerous firearms permissiveness of the GOP, which is soaked with gun manufacturer and NRA-money, has created the conditions for white nationalist racists to terrorize our population and assassinate our people in public places. There are unstable individuals, loaded up on hate, who think they are in a 'race war' against the diverse communities of the American people, and the GOP (Guns Over People party) does nothing to stop them or remove their weapons of mass slaughter.

"This is an intolerable and unsustainable situation. The first purpose of the social contract is to make people safer than they would be in a hazardous 'state of nature.' But Trump and McConnell fill the air with hate and racial malice while they allow unstable racists to acquire and deploy weapons of mass murder.

"Enough. Politicians must act with an at least minimal degree of social responsibility. And the people must overcome the power of the NRA to restore the first principles of the American social contract."

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