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Himes Says Congress Is Failing After Latest Mass Shooting In Texas

Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT)
Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- U.S. Rep. Jim Himes is once again calling on Congress to act following a mass shooting on Sunday morning at a church in Sutherland, Texas that left more than two dozen people dead.

"In Texas, yesterday, we witnessed another of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, where worshippers in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, young and old, were indiscriminately gunned down, said Himes, a Democrat who represents Connecticut's 4th District. "A place of peace and community turned into a nightmare. Once again, the brave first responders who rushed toward danger deserve our thanks, as the victims and their families deserve our compassion and mourning."

Following the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, Himes has refused to take part in Congressional moments of silence for victims of mass shootings, arguing that Congress must do more than just be silent for a moment.

"I pledged, after the brutal killing at Pulse in Orlando, to end my silence in the face of the gun violence onslaught. When seemingly every type of open venue – schools, churches, festivals, movie theaters, clubs, everywhere we go for community, friendship or time with our families – has been targeted by this terror, Congress’s silence is more deafening that ever."

Himes is now joining other Connecticut lawmakers, such as U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, in calling for legislative action to help prevent further gun violence.

Related story: Murphy, Blumenthal call for Senate to act after church shooting in Texas

"We must act. We must try something for the sake of all the innocent lives lost and the lives we could still save," Himes said.

Himes said that he introduced a bill last week with Blumenthal that would make it more difficult for people with temporary protection orders because of domestic violence to buy or posses firearms.

"I don’t know if it would have made a difference in yesterday’s tragedy, but it might prevent the next one. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. And just because smart, incremental change can’t prevent every death, doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands in despair."

"We should work to prevent the dangers we can anticipate, and react to the mistakes of the past to stop as much bloodshed as we can. That is Congress’s job. That is our duty. And we are failing.

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