Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin urges responsible hunters & sportsmen to support assault weapons ban

Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of remarks by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) supporting the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 at a press conference on Jan. 24, 2013:

…This just isn’t a matter of an issue of Constitution; it’s an issue of conscience. An issue of conscience.

We have one basic question that’s being asked today – which I hope we can answer – what does it take? What does it take to move a nation? What does it take to move a Congress?

We knew of the thousands of victims of gun violence.

We certainly know that not that long ago there was a tragedy in Arizona where one of our own – Gabrielle Giffords – had a town meeting was shot point blank in the face and others were killed in that same location. And even that incident did not move us to act.

What’s it take?

It took 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut and 6 others showing extraordinary courage to risk their lives to try to save and protect those same children. It was the image of those children – that each and every one of us looked at and said, “That could me my son or daughter. That could be my grandson, my granddaughter.”

And it made a difference. It was the tipping point in this national conversation.

I’ll never forget when Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy came back to tell us first hand of what they saw in Newtown, Connecticut. And Dick will undoubtedly will mention this in his remarks, he talked about standing in that building off to the side with the parents as they brought the children out of the school. The parents would rush to grab their little babies and hug them, knowing they were safe. But at the end of the day, there were 20 parents standing alone.

That’s what it took. The question is what will we do about it? What can we do about it? We can only do as much as the American people help us do. We need to have their support. Their silence can’t win this issue. They have to speak out.

In the month after Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 innocent lives were lost to this semi-automatic weapon and a person who never should have owned it, we had 26 killed on the streets of the city of Chicago – victims of gun violence. The tragedy continues to repeat itself.

When I met with the Superintendent of Police in Chicago and talked about this, he brought with him a piece of evidence much like you’ll see here. It was an Uzi. The night before that Uzi had been used in the streets of Chicago and turned on a policeman and thank God it jammed after one round. Thank goodness no one was hurt or killed.

But that is what this debate is about.

Let me close by saying there’s another group we need in this conversation: We need responsible hunters and sportsmen to step up and join us.

Let me tell you, I grew up in this tradition in downstate Illinois. There are plenty of shotguns of hunters and sportsmen in my family. They value this part of their lives, part of their American tradition. They use their guns safely and responsibly. They store their guns safely and responsibly. They comply with every aspect of the law. And they shake their heads when they hear the gun lobby speak for them, saying things which they don’t believe – that you’d need a weapon like this to go out and hunt or to go to target practice.

We need them to step up. We need their voices as part of this conversation.

For the critics who say “Well, there’s just isn’t any law – not the Feinstein law, not the McCarthy law – that will stop all this.” That’s true, but if it can save a life, if it can spare a tragedy, it is certainly worth our support and our effort.

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2 Comments on “Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin urges responsible hunters & sportsmen to support assault weapons ban

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduces assault weapons ban | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says assault weapons ban will save lives | What The Folly?!

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