Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) says he walked out of a moment of silence on the House floor for victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Texas, saying he “will not be silent” after yet another massacre.
Lieu posted a video on his Facebook page Monday night after the moment of silence, during which he said he was “heartbroken about the children and adults that were killed in the worst mass shooting in Texas history this Sunday.”
“My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives chambers,” Lieu said. “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. I will not be silent.”
Lieu referred specifically to the Texas shooting, as well as the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016 that left 49 people dead and the mass shooting in Las Vegas last month, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, where 58 people were killed.
Lieu called for the House to take action and “pass gun safety legislation now.”
“I urge us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation, including a universal background check law supported by 80 percent of Americans, a ban on assault rifles and a ban on bump stocks,” he said.
“We need to do that. We cannot be silent. We need to act now.”
Democratic lawmakers renewed their calls for Congress to pass gun control legislation in the wake of Sunday’s shooting, but Republican lawmakers have declined to do so.
A poll last month found that support for stricter gun regulations had reached an all-time high, with 60 percent of respondents saying they would be in favor of the measures.
The Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday that the panel will hold a hearing on bump stocks, a device used by the Las Vegas gunman that simulates automatic gunfire on semi-automatic weapons. Seventy-three percent of respondents in the same poll said they back banning bump stocks.