Durbin: Saving Lives From Gun Violence Is Not Theatre

Durbin slams Cruz for calling Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence prevention “ridiculous theater”

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, discussed the hearing he held yesterday on constitutional and common sense steps to reduce gun violence in America. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing came on the heels of two mass shootings within a week of each other in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado, which claimed the lives of 18 Americans including one police officer. During his floor speech, Durbin noted that gun violence is an epidemic in our country and that it requires urgent action from Congress, like passing universal background check legislation supported by around 90 percent of Americans. 

“We need to bring bills to the floor that will reduce gun violence in America [and] keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them.  Convicted felons and mentally unstable people should not be having guns, and buying them, and able to kill innocent people who are just stopping by at the supermarket to pick up something to take home,” said Durbin. “I hope that we can bring this measure to the floor, the one that passed the House of Representatives and others, to bring sanity to our Second Amendment, to make sure that we have constitutional, common sense gun safety that is consistent with any constitutional right.”

Durbin also slammed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for characterizing the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday as “ridiculous theater”.

“There was nothing ridiculous about the hearing that we held yesterday. It was a matter of life and death, and the grief that is being felt in Boulder, Colorado, Atlanta, Georgia, and all over America is a grief that is shared on a daily basis. Forty thousand Americans each year lose their lives to gun violence…nothing we should be proud of as a nation. And when we address gun violence and the measures that should be taken to reduce it, it is not ridiculous; it is as serious as it gets,” Durbin said. “Furthermore, it's not theater. Theater is a depiction of reality. The Senate Judiciary Committee is reality. We are empowered as Senators to change the laws of America and make it safer. That is not a theatrical performance. That is discharging our duties as United States Senators.” 

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.