After yet another mass shooting in the United States — this time at a mall in Portland, Oregon yesterday — Congressman Eric Blumenauer made a statement today in the House of Representatives about the plague of gun violence that has now victimized residents of his home district:
Mr. Speaker, one is haunted by these events—we had one in Aurora, Colorado in the theater where there were twelve people killed, sixty wounded;, six people killed at the Sikh temple this summer; the day spa in Milwaukie where three women were killed before the shooter turned the gun on himself. We had a horrific episode earlier in my congressional career in Springfield, Oregon in May of 1998.
It’s hard to have meaningful conservations in a variety of subjects—I was going to deal with that problem with the Fiscal Cliff today—but gun violence is another area in America where it seems we can’t have a discussion without delusional claims of overreach and taking away hunting rifles. Congress won’t even allow statistics on gun violence to be gathered. And we certainly have made no progress towards closing the “gun-show loophole.”
Despite dozens of innocent Americans killed just this year in mass shooting incidents across the country (among the tens of thousands who have died as a result of gun violence), there is a disproportionately low effort to address even the superficial (let alone the more underlying) causes that give rise to such loss of life. While we have a sense of what can be done to stop the killing, there seems not a large desire to take actionable steps. Our inaction as a country only compounds the tragedies that individual families and communities must bear as a result.
You can watch Rep. Blumenauer’s complete speech below.