Transcript: Rep. David Cicilline says common sense gun laws are “American values”

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of remarks by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) at a press conference organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on Dec. 18, 2012: 

Good morning, thank you all for being here. I’d like to thank Dan Gross and the Brady campaign for asking me to host today’s press conference.

I also want to acknowledge the families that are with us today, whose lives have been touched by gun violence and thank them for their extraordinary courage.

As you’ll hear shortly, gun violence has inflicted pain on families in every corner of our country, ending lives far too soon, leaving families permanently scarred.

Last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton [Conn.] shook all of us to the core.

No parent should ever have to endure the anguish and sorrow that families in Newtown are going through today or that these families who are here with us today have experienced.

Before I came to Congress, I served two terms as mayor of Providence, and one of the most difficult responsibilities I had in that office was to meet with mothers and fathers whose children were victimized by gun violence.

No words of mine could ever match the pain they felt through their loss.

The recent tragedy in Newtown unfortunately is only the most recent of a long series of mass killings involving guns.

But this incident is especially horrific because it involved the slaughter of 20 innocent children. I hope that it will mark a turning point in the debate over common sense gun safety laws.

In the weeks ahead, I’m sure that we’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore new ways to address this critical issue and we have to be certain that the voices of the families affected by gun violence are heard in this debate.

As we prepare to begin the 113th Congress, it’s critical for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to commit themselves to do everything that they possibly can to end this violence. Because common sense gun laws aren’t Democratic or Republican values; they’re American values.

And if our values as Americans mean anything at all, then surely all of us are entitled to enjoy our lives and live in neighborhoods that are safe and free from gun violence.

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