Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement calling for a hearing on her bill to ban assault weapons:
“Over this past week, we’ve heard passionate pleas from students who survived a massacre and lost their friends and teachers. There have been 239 shootings at schools since 20 first graders were slaughtered at Sandy Hook—the last time we said ‘never again.’ These shootings resulted in 438 people being wounded, 138 fatally. There’s no other country where school shootings are a monthly occurrence, no other country where children are afraid they are going to be killed at school, and we’ve got to stop it.
“Through their pain, these students have been demanding lawmakers take action to make sure an AR-15 isn’t used to perpetrate another mass shooting. At a rally this week, one of the Parkland students said, ‘We can’t protect our guns before we protect our children.’ We owe it to these students to listen.
“Our country is in the midst of a significant conversation on gun reform, and our bill to ban assault weapons, which is before the Judiciary Committee, deserves a hearing.
“From Aurora to Sandy Hook, San Bernardino to Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs to Parkland, one common thread that runs through mass shootings is the use of AR-15 military-style assault weapons. These weapons are designed to kill the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time and we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.
“Republicans falsely claim that the federal ban in 1994 didn’t work.
- When the assault weapons ban was in place, the number of gun massacres fell by 37 percent and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43 percent.
- After the ban expired, the number of gun massacres increased by 183 percent and the number of people dying from gun massacres increased by 239 percent.
“The ban was effective, but Republicans still blocked its extension at the behest of the NRA. Today, however, the tide is turning and the public overwhelmingly favors stronger gun laws. We deserve a hearing.”