Rep. Lawrence proposes Congressional Black Caucus gun violence task force

brenda lawrenceIn the wake of two more deadly college campus shootings Friday, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) has proposed the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force to End Gun Violence.
Members who have said they would join in the task force include, but are not limited to, Reps. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Robin Kelly (D-02), and Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10). The task force is being proposed in response to the ongoing epidemic of mass shootings and firearms-related deaths in America.
“The wide-ranging impact of gun violence is real and the consequences are far too great to ignore. It is critical that we act now to make our communities safer and to ensure that Americans’ Second Amendment rights are protected by enforcing existing laws and focusing on responsible gun ownership measures,”said Lawrence.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 31,000 men, women, and children die each year from gunshot wounds in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 300,000 Americans were killed in firearms-related incidents from 2004 to 2013, compared with just over 300 terrorism-related deaths during that same period.
This is an issue that affects every community in the United States, including Michigan’s 14th District. Though crime in Detroit is on the decline overall, the FBI and Detroit Police Department report that the number of homicides related to gun violence are on the rise.
“The epidemic of gun violence in this country chips away at the foundations of our society, taking from us family members, friends, and loved ones,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “It’s an epidemic of mass shootings, but also of broader and routine gun violence in our communities. The time to act is now. We have a responsibility to the communities we have sworn to protect to implement meaningful, common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence while protecting the rights of law abiding citizens.”
In December of 2012, President Obama tried to address this difficult issue with the formation of a task force to examine the myriad causes behind gun violence. Vice President Biden met with Cabinet officials and other stakeholders and submitted numerous proposals to the president in 2013 – yet nothing has changed.
Even as we continue to mourn the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook, the 9 adults killed at a church in South Carolina, the 4 Marines killed in Tennessee, the 9 students and staff in Oregon, and, most recently, the one student killed today at the Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus and an 18-year-old college freshman killed on campus property at Texas Southern University, getting gun violence prevention legislation through Congress is impossible – or is it?
“The President was right when he noted that mere expressions of sympathy and moments of silence are no longer enough. Now is the time to take action for the health, safety, and rights of all Americans,” said Lawrence.

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