“And to people across the United States, know that the moment for silence is gone. The moment for screaming out in protest is here.”– Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)
Payne is hardly the first of our representatives in Congress and our state legislature to talk this way. From Loretta Weinberg’s advocacy for smart gun technology (opposed by national gun rights groups) to Dems like Bonnie Watson Coleman, Frank Pallone, Cory Booker and Payne participating in the 2016 sit-in on the House floor by congressional Democrats determined to force Republicans to consider gun legislation, most of our electeds have their heads straight on this issue.
Payne, who represents one of the most densely-populated congressional districts in the country – including our largest city, Newark – says some of his constituents sleep in their bathtubs to feel safe.
Two hours ago, another active shooter situation at another place in America where children have a right to feel safe. Not our state, not this time. Florida senator Bill Nelson says there are “a number of fatalities” at the ‘freshman hall’ at a high school in Broward County, after an incident that went on for more than an hour before there was a suspect in custody. We don’t know the situation yet, but the fact that Florida’s lax gun laws make it easy to get a gun there doesn’t reassure me. We have the rest of Payne’s statement below. And if others come in, I’ll post them in the comments.
“To the families who lost loved ones during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, today, know that your country’s compassion and thoughts go out to you. Our hearts break with yours.
“To those injured, know that the American people are praying your recovery.
“To the first responders who put their lives on the line daily, thank you.
“And to people across the United States, know that the moment for silence is gone. The moment for screaming out in protest is here.
“Anger is an appropriate response to senseless gun violence and political inaction. Moments of silence used to be for showing honor or respect. There is nothing honorable about keeping silent and doing nothing to prevent gun violence. Even as children, worshipers, concert-goers, and people from all walks of life die in one mass shooting after another, Congress has rejected every reasonable gun bill proposed in the past decade.
“Every day in this country, forty-six children are shot. Every day in this country, seven children die from gun violence. Those statistics do not occur in any other high-income country on this planet. Those of us who are parents may not be able to protect our children from the world, but those of us who are Members of the United States Congress have the power to make the world safer for all children.
“The American people are right to be angry at their government for failing to pass reasonable gun safety laws. They have a right to scream out, to speak up, to sit in, and to protest until Congress does something.”
Photo above from Fox9 video, Broward County, FL