Congressman Al Green’s Public Forum on Gun Violence in Houston’s International District

Aug 11, 2019

(Houston, TX) – On Sunday, August 11, 2019, Congressman Al Green hosted a public forum in the International District on gun violence in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings. Congressman Green released the following statement:

“As our country mourns the lives of 32 souls tragically taken at the hands of hate and gun violence in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, I offer my sincerest condolences to the families and communities of the victims during this time of pain and sorrow. However, with an epidemic of mass shootings that is quickly plaguing our nation, we can no longer rely solely on thoughts and prayers. The victims of these tragedies and their surviving loved ones deserve justice and the corrective action that Congress must take to deal with this hate as well as gun violence.

“As of Friday, August 9, 2019, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there have been 33,862 shooting incidents, 17,745 gun injuries, 8,978 gun deaths, and 254 mass shootings in 38 states and the District of Columbia in 2019 alone.This is why I was pleased to host a public forum to share with my constituents some gun violence legislation that is not only pending in the U.S. House but also legislation that has passed the House and is pending before the U.S. Senate. Chief among the legislation discussed were H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112.

“H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, would make background checks mandatory prior to the sale of any gun. This legislation requires licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers of guns to conduct a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm. H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, would close the ‘Charleston loophole’ that currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within 3 days. This loophole is what permitted Dylan Roof to purchase the gun he used to senselessly and hatefully murder 9 African-American persons at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. I am proud to say that I voted for each of these bills in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bills are now pending before our Senate, which has refused to act thus far.

“While legislation and acts of Congress are imperative when addressing gun violence, one of the most important things we can do for society overall is to impeach and work toward removing President Trump. We have a president who continually weaponizes a culture of hate wherein white supremacy, white nationalism, and white terrorism are rearing their ugly heads and causing harm to innocent people, as evidenced by the El Paso shooting. The legislation Congress works tirelessly to enact will be beneficial but will not impact the hate fueled by President Trump that has begun to invidiously permeate our society. Impeachment before society suffers greater harm is the only solution.

“We cannot allow these tragedies to remain talking points until the next mass shooting occurs. We must make them action items by taking up legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in tandem with impeachment. We must return to Capitol Hill and act now.