Congressman John Garamendi’s Statement on Mass Shooting at Umpqua Community College
FAIRFIELD, CA – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting on October 1 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon:
“My heart aches for the victims of the senseless mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. We will learn more about the victims and heroes in the coming days, but it is horrifying to once again see violence directed toward innocent people. Reports also indicate that many of those killed were executed for professing their Christian faith. In a heartbreaking yet poignant coincidence, yesterday morning I joined a large bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress in asking Speaker John Boehner to allow the House of Representatives to consider commonsense gun laws.
'Gun violence affects every District and every community in America. We were all shocked and saddened by the senseless deaths of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and have vowed that we would not let this happen again. Sadly, since then, America has been witness to at least 53 mass shootings. Every day in this country, more than thirty people die as a result of gun violence. This does not even address the individual victims of domestic violence or other vicious crimes that destroy families and communities.
"Our children should be safe in schools. People should be allowed to worship without threat of violence. Walking the neighborhoods of our cities should not be a high-risk activity. It is long past time that Congress addresses this national epidemic. We must ensure that guns do not make it into the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. We can do this without infringing on Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
"We call on you to bring to the Floor legislation that can protect innocent lives while safeguarding the rights of law abiding gun owners. No legislation will stop every tragedy, but passing commonsense gun laws will at least stop some. It is the least we can do to honor the memory of those we've lost to gun violence and prevent that list from growing.'
Our words were current and urgent when we wrote them. They are even more so today. If we don't act now, then when? How many people have to die before we finally work to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people? We are becoming a nation where mass shootings are the new normal. It doesn't have to be this way. For years now, the leadership in Congress has blocked a vote on universal background checks, a public policy supported by almost everyone. We need changes in the law, and thoughts and prayers no longer cut it. I'm angry, sad, and determined.”