Rep. Ted Lieu On Skipping Congressional Moment Of Silence: ‘I Will Not Be Silent’

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on Monday skipped a congressional moment of silence for the 26 victims of a gun massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

In a video Lieu posted to Facebook from just outside the House Chamber, he said, “I will not be silent” when it comes to legislation aimed at preventing future mass shooting deaths.

“I can’t do this again,” Lieu said. “I’ve been to too many moments of silences. In just my short career in Congress, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred. I will not be silent. What we need, is we need action, we need to pass gun safety legislation now.”

Lieu advocated for universal background checks for gun ownership — “supported by 80 percent of Americans,” he said — a ban on assault rifles and a ban on bump stocks.

Police found multiple bump stocks, which emulate the firing speed of automatic weapons when fitted on semi-automatic ones, in the hotel room of Stephen Craig Paddock. Using semi-automatic rifles outfitted with bump stocks, Paddock is alleged to have killed 58 people by shooting into the crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, before taking his own life.

Texas law enforcement officials said Devin Patrick Kelley, the alleged gunman in the Sutherland Springs massacre, used a Ruger AR-556 during his attack, an assault-style rifle similar to the popular AR-15.

An Air Force error resulted in Kelly being allowed to purchase the weapon and body armor, even though a military court had previously convicted him of two counts of domestic assault that resulted in a yearlong prison sentence and a bad-conduct discharge.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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