The shooting in Orlando broke my heart. During a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community a gay night club was viciously attacked — leaving 49 people dead and 50 others wounded.
The feeling was depressingly familiar. I felt it in 2008 after the shooting spree in Skagit County. I felt it in 2012 after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And I felt it in 2014 after the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School.
But for my constituents — hundreds of whom have contacted me since last Sunday — hearing their elected officials express heartbreak is not enough. Nor should it be.
Rightly, the people of Washington’s 2nd District and the American people at large are demanding that Congress do something to address gun violence.
That is why I am continuing my efforts in Congress to pass commonsense gun safety legislation. I am calling on Members on both sides of the aisle to work with me to ban military-style assault weapons, lift the ban on federally funded research into the causes of gun violence and strengthen our system of background checks. These policies would not prevent every massacre but they would give law enforcement more tools to prevent killings, provide lawmakers with a better understanding of firearm-related homicide and suicide, and limit the amount of damage that maniacs who want to kill us can inflict.
No single law can prevent the actions of a madman, but there are actions we can take to save American lives while honoring the Constitutional right to bear arms. We should have taken these steps long ago.
The one thing we know for sure will not make a difference is what Congress has tried up to this point: offer thoughts and prayers and move on.
Yesterday my colleagues in the Senate refused to yield the floor for nearly 15 hours in an urgent call for action on gun safety.
Today I am letting the American people know: I hear you, I share your frustration and I will fight to make your voices heard in the U.S. House.
Enough is enough: it is time for Congress to act.