Following the tragic shooting in Michigan yesterday, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) delivered powerful remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and urged action from both chambers on the “continued threat of gun violence to our children and to our nation.”
“Enough is enough. Enough gun violence in our schools. Enough children hiding in fear. Enough parents trembling in terror as they search for any news of their own kids.
There were 100 calls made to 9-1-1 in Oxford yesterday. Hundreds of children stuck in their classrooms, crying out for help. Hundreds of kids scared to death that this would be their last day of school.
We have our young people learning how best to survive a shooter in between math and science class. 6-year olds asked to figure out for themselves whether they have a better chance to survive if they hide in a closet, or if they should rush the gunmen.
And then, on days like yesterday. Days that repeat with the same frequency as this body’s failure to respond, we hear the stories of teenagers texting their parents from behind a desk saying things like ‘Mom, if I don’t make it, I love you, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.’
Parents begging their children to ‘barricade yourselves behind doors, to hide in classrooms, and to please, hold your tears, you cannot make a sound.’
This chamber has heard much about God since men first stood within these hallowed halls.
This chamber has heard much about the God given rights our Creator inalienably endowed.
So I ask, then, what rights has God given our children?
Do they enjoy the God given right to exist in their schools without fear of death or gun violence?
Do American parents have the God given right to drop their child off at school and expect to see them home that night?
Parents from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Parkland have had to bury their babies. And the children who survived have had to live with the trauma that only stepping over a friend painted in blood could ever bring.
Do we, as a nation, have the God given right to live free from this epidemic of violence, of senseless loss, of unimaginable pain?
I ask all of you here today, to put yourselves in the shoes of those parents. Put yourselves in the shoes of the mother’s and father’s who have gasped for air when desperation would not let them breathe. Put yourself in the shoes of all those who have sunk to their knees when the agony would not let them stand.
Do you have the courage to do that? To feel what it might like to bury your own child? To suffer with your God day after day to make sense of the senseless?…Do you have the courage?
Do you have the courage to do what is right? To save our children and protect our families.
And if not, do you really, truly, have the courage to look away. Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.”