Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said Monday that he walked out of a moment of silence for the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Texas because he has sat through too many and wants gun control legislation to prevent further attacks.
“My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives’ chambers,” Lieu says in a video he posted to Facebook. “I respect their right to do that and I myself have participated in many of them. But I can’t do this again. I’ve been to too many moments of silences. In just my short period in congress, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred.”
Lieu was sworn into congress in January 2015. Since then, there have been approximately 1,023 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. And three of the five deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history — the Las Vegas shooting in October that killed 58 people, the 2016 Orlando shooting that killed 49 people and Sunday’s shooting that killed at least 26 people — have all occurred in the past 16 months.
In his video, Lieu urged Congress to pass a universal background check law, a ban on assault rifles and a ban on bump stocks.
“We need to do that. We cannot be silent. We need to act now,” Lieu said.
Lieu’s call for action over symbolic gestures echo the words of other gun control advocates, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“After every horrific event, thoughts and prayers are offered, but action is not,” the group said in a statement shortly after the Texas shooting. “Now is the time for citizens to stand up, hold our elected officials accountable and demand changes to ensure dangerous people do not have ready access to guns.”
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