Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking one year since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead and 17 injured:
“One year after this tragedy, it is still difficult to put into words the feelings of sadness, heartbreak, and loss. On this solemn anniversary, I stand in solidarity with those who lost loved ones, the injured, and the countless families impacted by this senseless act of violence.
“The Parkland community has faced unspeakable tragedy. Yet through their grief, they came together with strength and resolve, lifting each other and beginning the long process of healing together. I am awe-inspired by the students who turned their anguish into one of the most compelling student-led movements in American history, honoring those who were lost with action and shaping the next chapter on addressing gun violence in America.
“Tragically, our nation continues to face a gun violence epidemic in communities across the country. There were 24 school shooting incidents last year alone, while nearly 40,000 Americans lost their lives to firearms.
“Last night, for the first time in years, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which is now headed to the House floor. It is incumbent upon all of us to demand change, and this is what change looks like.
“On this day of reflection, I pledge to do whatever I can to support commonsense reforms that will save lives and make our country a safer place for all.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.