Today, U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22), the House Representative for Parkland, Florida, issued the following statement:
“‘Today will no doubt go down as the saddest day in the history of Uvalde. Our hearts are torn and broken.’ The Uvalde judge who said that just now rightly marks this saddest day for his community. Like the saddest day in Newtown and the saddest days in my own community. And the sadness and broken hearts march from city to city across America. Only America.
“It sickened me that Congress never did anything after Newtown. I’m ashamed that Congress did nothing after the gun violence that devastated Parkland and South Florida. And amidst the tremendous sadness I feel for every family that lost a huge piece of its future, from the dreams parents had for their kids to the contributions not made by a committed teacher to her future students, I am outraged. I’m shaking with fury at the pathetic position we’re in. The millionaire gun company lobbyists who work day and night thwarting the will of the people. The way we go from one mass tragedy to another getting a little number each time. The news cycle quickly flipping back to celebrity trials. Receiving condolences from politicians from all over the world who want to know what’s wrong with America.
“I watched a generation of young people inspired to action after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because they were sick of all this fear and death. I grew close to so many families who have turned their own grief over losing a loved one into meaningful action to make change, from winning elected office to starting organizations committed to making schools safer and ending gun violence. And today rips another piece from their hearts, as they confront another mass shooting and the realization that Congress has continued to ignore their pleas for help.
“The Senate should pass the background check bill. Right now. Make them all vote. It won’t prevent every act of gun violence but it will save lives. And the people want it. We must demand it.
“And we should pass the EAGLES Act, a bill presented by Parkland parent Tony Montalto and his group Stand with Parkland. It will help prevent school shootings. And it’s bipartisan.
“And we should pass the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, a bill presented by Parkland parent Max Schachter and his group Safe Schools for Alex. It will also help prevent school shootings. And it, too, is bipartisan.
“And Jaime’s Law presented by Parkland parent Fred Guttenberg in memory of his daughter. It will make it harder for dangerous people to acquire ammunition to carry out these acts.
“We should also ban ghost guns. And pass red flag laws. And stop the sale of high-capacity magazines.
“There are a lot of things we should do—a lot of things that the NRA’s money and political cowardice have prevented for decades. But now, with yet another mass murder at an elementary school, with 19 children—children, aged 10 and under—and two of their dedicated educators gone, can’t we at least do what should be easy? Can’t we, at the very least, do what is bipartisan and straightforward? We have Marched for our Lives. Keep marching. And demand action.”