Transcript: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says assault weapons ban will save lives
Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 at a press conference on Jan. 24, 2013:
…This battle has been a very lonely battle for many, many years, and I think a lot of the victims that are out there and a lot of the groups that have been fighting for this so long probably felt that way…
I’ve watched the slaughter of so many people, and I’ve met with so many victims over the years. And in Congress, nobody wanted to touch the issue. And the last several years, the massacres were going on more and more. Going through it, I kept saying, “What’s wrong with all of us? How many people have to be killed before we do something?”
I thought for sure after Virginia Tech we would get something done. Aurora. But something happened in Newtown. People of America said, “How could this happen? How could this happen to our children?”
You know, when we have been meeting with the NRA [National Rifle Association] over the last few weeks going to trying to find how we could work together, it’s been frustrating but I still have great hope. But to be honest with you, I’m not going to be able to trust them to be there for the tough votes. And that’s why all of us and the President, by the way, and Vice President Biden and those of us that are going to be fighting for this are going to spread the words to the corners of this country.
NRA members have been speaking out to get something done. These are good law-abiding citizens. They want to hunt. They want to go duck hunting. And the guns they use – duck hunting – you’re only allowed 3 bullets. Deer hunting, depending on what state you’re in, only allow 5 bullets. And most hunters will tell you if you don’t get it on the first try you’re probably not going to get it on the second one.
And yet, we have these machines, we have the large magazines that can take down 20 children in seconds. And the only reason that slaughter stopped because our first responders were there, and the killer ended up taking his life.
Some people will say this bill won’t work. Let me tell you why it will work. Because if you don’t have these guns and the large magazines on these shelves, those who have done these horrific killings wouldn’t be able to go to a gun store and just buy them. They don’t have the background to go and look to where the black market is to be able to buy these magazines and guns. They go to the simplest place. If they’re not in the stores, they can’t be bought.
Think of the lives that can be saved.
Now, there are lot of people in this audience whose families have gone through a killing in their family, losing a child, losing a husband, losing a wife, and they were single killings. And we must do something to stop that also.
This is only the beginning. We are going to be working on a holistic approach. We should be looking at how we can help our young people so they don’t go into a world of drugs. We should be helping those children that might be having psychological problems so they don’t feel that they have to take a gun to either commit suicide or to take down some of their classmates.
You’re going to hear from some at the opposite side of many of us that it can’t be done. I’m telling you it can be done. I’m telling you with all my heart and soul it can be done. But we – as the President has said – the people have to make those decisions.
Newtown made a difference. The killing there made us all look up and into ourselves and say why can’t we do something about that?
I’m telling you between this battle – between now and when we get this passed – you’re going to hear from the NRA and there are an awful lot of them saying that it’s not going to do anything. I’m saying to you we can save lives.
Think about this: Since Newtown, just about 1,000 people have died from guns. 1,000 people. Those children – their dreams, the dreams of even those that have died through other violence never to be fulfilled.
The day that that incident happened, I actually was giving an interview and it was just a reporter following up on how do I get through the holidays. And she said to me, “Oh my God, you have the TV on.” And that was the beginning of my nightmare again. It is for every victim that has to go through it every single time we hear of a killing.
It has to stop. It has to stop. And we can do it, we can make a difference, and we can save thousands and thousands of lives.
And I would be remiss if I did not say for those who have survived those horrific shootings, as my son did so many years ago, whose life will never be the same and how much it’s cost this country on health care to take care of those victims, that is what this country is facing. We have to look at each other and say, “Yes we can do this. We will do the right thing. Our police officers will do the right thing.”
But if the American people don’t stand up to the lies that are being said that we can’t do anything about gun violence, who loses? The future of our children – they are the ones that lose. We can do this. Please, be out there for us.
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Feinstein Introduces Bill on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Summary of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Text of Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (PDF)
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons
- C-Span.org: Video of press conference announcing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 on Jan. 24, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduces assault weapons ban
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says assault weapons ban will save lives
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin urges responsible hunters & sportsmen to support assault weapons ban
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer says assault weapons bill balances Second Amendment rights with public safety
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Richard Blumenthal says law enforcement is “outgunned” by assault weapons such as one used in the Newtown school shooting
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Chris Murphy says “more kids would be alive today” had assault weapons ban been in place prior to Sandy Hook shooting
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Elizabeth Esty says Newtown is still paying the price for Congressional inaction on gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: Commentary: Newtown shooting underscores need to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines
- WhatTheFolly.com: Gunman used a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle to kill students, teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary
- WhatTheFolly.com: Analysis: Newtown massacre compelled Obama to address gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: List of 23 executive actions signed by President Barack Obama to curb gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: Names of the 26 victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012
- WhatTheFolly.com: Round-up: Newtown school shooting