Pelosi Remarks at Roundtable Discussion on Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

October 16, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats, physicians and public health experts for a ‘This is Our Lane’ discussion on gun violence as a public health issue.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.   Thank you very much, Congressman Ruiz, Dr. Ruiz, for your extraordinary leadership for the children.  Whether they are at the border or at all throughout our country, or at the mercy of gun violence – that’s the word, mercy – in our country.  

It’s an honor to be here with you, your distinguished guests, our colleagues.  Our Chairman of our Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Mr. Thompson, who has been on both sides of a gun in the military, and then a gun-owner, and hunter, all the rest – he speaks with authority and I am really proud of the legislation, bipartisan legislation that we have sent to the Senate.

Dr. Schrier is a pediatrician.  She knows how serious this is.  Robin Kelly, talking about what is happening every single day, not just the high profile events.  Lucy McBath has honored us with her presence – and all over the country – to speak from her own personal experience, her generosity of spirit is just – blows us over.  But it is imperative – gives us an imperative to act.

So, to all of my colleagues, thank you for your extraordinary leadership.

Let me just say this, because I have to go to this meeting on Syria, where children are being killed, both in Syria and in Turkey.

During the break, I was in Florida and our colleague, Frederica Wilson, gave me this bracelet.  You notice the orange?  That is the gun violence prevention color and this is a bullet.  This is a bullet.  You know, I wear it and I want to show it to the President when I go over there, if I get a chance, to, to remind him that we are not going away until this legislation is law. 

Chuck and I called him on the 200th day that Mr. Thompson’s bill passed, that Mr. Clyburn’s bill passed, on the 200th day, that was in September, like the middle of September.  We said 200 days, 100 people on average a day, around 20,000 people have died, 47 percent of them children or teenagers, as old as teenagers.

We are not going away until this is done, and I told that just a couple of weeks ago when he called me about another subject.

Thank you for your letter to the leadership.  Your letter about the H.R. 8, H.R. 1112, ERPO – Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, the search that we have in the appropriations bill this summer, we put it in there, we are hoping that it will survives the process.  So thank you for — everyone about the important legislation. 

So this is, this is life or death.  That’s what it’s about.  And your expert testimony about the impact, whether it’s traumatically or physically, in another ways, is really important to our arguments.  But, again, we are going to be relentless, persistent, dissatisfied. 

We are not going away until this passes and I feel that that is being true because Dr. Ruiz, you know being in a physician himself, a public health physician, other things too, I am sure, but we are in your lane.  This is a public health issue for America.  It is an epidemic. We must address it and we couldn’t be better served than by the scientific basis that you give us, as well as the political will that we have in the Congress and some of that coming together with our doctors in Congress.

So, thank you all very much.

Mr. Crow, as a veteran himself, knows the power of weaponry, and Vice Chair of the [House Judiciary Committee], Mary Gay Scanlon, I am sure you have all been introduced.  Ami Bera, himself, is a public health doctor in California and so he sees this from that scientific viewpoint and professionally, and see, I mentioned Dina Titus, Robin has just been relentless and Mr. Pascrell has joined us as well. 

So, I am going to have to excuse myself to go deal with violence in another part of the world, unfortunately, but I thank all of you for what you are doing professionally, here with us now legislatively, and to my colleagues as well, and thank you all for once again, again every since day, here for America’s families, especially our children, so thank you so much. 

Thank you, Mr. Ruiz.  I’ll send your best regards.  Thank you,  Mr. Chairman.