Download production-quality b-roll of Brown’s Floor Speech HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the Senate floor this week, following another tragedy in Virginia Beach, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) marked and honored Gun Violence Awareness Month, which was created in an effort to raise awareness and prevent senseless acts of gun violence. Brown believes thoughts and prayers are not enough, and Congress must act and do more to keep Americans safe.
Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found below:
This weekend, another community was torn apart by gun violence.
Once again, politicians offered thoughts and prayers to the people of Virginia Beach…and then moved on.
It’s tragic and it’s obscene how routine this has become.
This month we are marking Gun Violence Awareness Month.
But in our country every month – every week, every day – we endure senseless gun violence.
For too long, Congress has ignored the millions of Americans who want reasonable gun safety measures, while instead doing the bidding of special interest gun lobbyists.
We cannot say we are doing what it takes to keep our country safe until we are finally willing to pass commonsense laws to protect all Americans from gun violence.
Many of us have tried.
I supported the original federal assault weapons ban in 1994, and I joined with many of my colleagues to vote to renew it after Sandy Hook. Weapons of war do not belong on our streets.
We have tried to pass legislation to close loopholes in our background check system, so that people who buy guns on the internet or at gun shows have to go through the same background checks as law-abiding gun owners who buy their guns at stores in Ohio.
After the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, we tried to pass legislation to prevent people on the terrorist watchlist from buying guns, because if you’re too dangerous to get on an airplane, you’re too dangerous to buy a deadly weapon.
But we know what happened each and every time.
The gun lobby stood in the way.
They stood in the way, despite the fact that the laws we’re talking about would not undermine the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
I have always respected the rights of hunters, collectors, and other responsible, law-abiding gun owners. No one is trying to take away their guns.
But when our students are not safe in our schools, it’s clear something has to be done.
When workers are not safe on the job, we have to take action.
When too many Americans don’t feel safe going about their daily lives in their communities, we can’t sit here and do nothing.
We will not give up on making our country safer. We will keep fighting until we get weapons of war out of our schools and our workplaces and our neighborhoods.
Creating change in our country is never easy, and it always requires going up against powerful special interests.
And change never starts in Washington – we make progress because of grassroots movements of Americans all across our country demanding action.
From Marches for Our Lives to the women’s march to the activism around the Affordable Care Act, Americans have proved over and over again the power of activism.
The people mothers and fathers, students and teachers all across this country who have stood up and marched for gun safety are the people we were sent here to serve. Not special interest lobbyists.
I hope my colleagues will not so easily forget this time what happened in Virginia Beach.
And at the Poway Synagogue.
And in Pittsburgh.
And in Parkland.
And in Orlando.
And at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.
And in Las Vegas.
And in Sandyhook.
And in neighborhoods all around this country, every month, every week, every day.