Hastings’ Statement on the 5th Anniversary of the Mass Shooting in Tucson, Arizona
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking the 5th anniversary of the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona:
“Five years ago, our nation was shocked with sadness and anger when 19 individuals, including my friend and colleague Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, were shot during a Congressional community outreach event in Tucson, Arizona. This mass shooting polarized our country. And yet, Congress has done nothing in its wake to curb the flow of guns into the hands of dangerous individuals.
“Our nation has a gun problem. Congress has a gun problem. Gun violence takes the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. However, Republicans in Congress, beholden to the powerful gun lobby, continue to demonize and obstruct every effort to enact common-sense reform.
“In October 2015, I sent a letter to the President urging him to use his Executive Branch powers to address our nation’s gun policies. I was pleased when President Obama announced earlier this week that he will take such actions, strengthening backgrounds checks and increasing funding for federal agencies that work to prevent gun violence.
“Congressional passage of these types of reforms is long overdue. It is my sincere hope that those in Congress frustrated by the President’s Executive actions use them as an impetus to draft and pass additional bipartisan reforms that uphold our citizens’ constitutional rights, while simultaneously making our communities safer.
“Today, we recognize the 5th anniversary of a national tragedy. Since the shooting in Tucson, more than 130,000 Americans have been killed by firearms. I will continue to prioritize addressing gun violence in all of its forms and encourage all Americans to join me in demanding change now.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.