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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Durbin on Gun Violence  CSPAN  July 23, 2022 7:18pm-7:41pm EDT

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campaigns and the world of politics all at your fingertips, and stay current with the latest episodes of washington journal and find scheduling information. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. downloaded it for free today. c-span now, your front row seat to washington, any time, anywhere. >> earlier this week, illinois senator dick durbin reflected on a mass shooting that happened in his home state. he urged his colleagues to address gun violence in america and how it is impacting children. his remarks are about 20 minutes. >> we have a great number of holidays each year in america, but is there a more perfect holiday than the fourth of july? we celebrate the birth of our nation.
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we gather with our families for vacations, trip to the beach, backyard barbecues, take in a baseball game, then go to a parade. it is just the ultimate american celebration. we relax, pull out our american flags, gather our kids, and thank god we were born in this great nation we can call home, but this last fourth of july became a different scene in one part of my home state of illinois. it was the first time in years the people of highland park were able to gather together publicly , so it was a special celebration as they gathered at 10:00 in the morning for the fourth of july parade. all in addition to the usual suspects of these parades, political candidates, there were a lot of groups just cheering. pure celebration.
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high school bands, veterans, all sorts of groups in a wonderful suburban town in the chicagoland area of highland park. yesterday, we held a hearing in the senate judiciary committee about the day of the july 4 parade at highland park. i wish we didn't have to hold that hearing. i would rather it would have been some other subject some other place, but it was the 10th hearing during this congress -- the 10th time that we had held a hearing in the judiciary committee on gun violence. gun violence -- the number one cause of death of our children in america. let me repeat that -- gun violence, the number one cause of death among children in
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america. yesterday, we focused on highland park and the fourth of july parade, and we focused on the mass shooting incident that took place, and we focused on military style assault weapons. the fourth of july shooting in highland park, was the 309th mass shooting in america this year. what is a mass shooting? when four people are either injured or killed. 309 times that it happened before july 4. by the time of yesterday's hearing, 16 days after the fourth of july, that number was -- that number of 309 had grown by 47 mass shootings since the fourth of july in america. 16 days, 47 more mass shootings. where else on earth is this
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taking place? nowhere. right here in the united states of america is the only place on earth where mass shootings are happening on such a frequent basis. in the deadliest shootings, the attacker use an assault weapon, a combat weapon, a gun specifically designed to kill the maximum number of people in just a few seconds. the same weapon we saw in uvalde, texas, where the kids in their classrooms work killed. the same weapon we saw in the supermarket in buffalo, new york, where early morning shoppers were killed. sadly, the same weapon that was used in highland park. during the fourth of july parade in highland park, a deranged gunman perched himself on a rooftop using hey smith & wesson assault rifle, killing seven
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people and wounding dozens more. he shot 83 rounds in less than a minute. let me say that again -- 83 rounds in less than a minute. this is aiden mccarthy. aiden is two years old. his mom and dad took him to the fourth of july parade at highland park. i first heard about him just an hour or two after this terrible incident. i called my friend who is the mayor of highland park and asked her -- tell me, what can i do? she said, i don't know. things are happening so fast.
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we actually found a two-year-old toddler who was wandering the street by himself. we don't know who he belongs to. his picture is being circulated in the community, though the conclusion is fairly obvious -- whoever brought him to the parade was not able to look for him and care for him. the story eventually unfolded. kevin and irina mccarthy brought kevin to the parade, his first parade, and then when the shooting started, they shielded him with their bodies. in a matter of minutes, aiden lost most of -- lost both of his parents. fortunately, a grandparent was located and aiden is in safe hands today, but because of this assault weapon being fired on the crowd, he lost his mom and dad. that's the reality. when a parent has to shield a
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child like this from a mass shooting. the mayor of highland park testified yesterday about the parade. she told us when the shooting started, she thought the sound of balloons was actually a drum cadence -- the sound of bullets was actually a drum cadence from the local marching band. when she realized there was an active shooter, she began evacuating the crowd. she said the adults she confronted stared back at her. they did not understand what she was saying, but the children, the teenagers -- they understood. this was a shooter. this was not a drill. mr. president, did you hear that? the children and teens at the highland park parade instinctively knew what was happening because they had been trained in their schools to deal with mass shootings.
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that's how common these mass shootings have become. i grew up in a different era, cold war era, where it was duck and cover under your desk for fear of nuclear attack the soviet union. these kids, our kids, our grandkids, are being schooled not just on the abc's, but they are being schooled in survival so that if a shooter shows up in the classroom, they know what to do to try and survive. the judiciary committee was told our children are expected to return to schools in about a month. they are frightened to go back. they are frightened to play outside. many never want to go to parades again. for the rest of their lives, they will look over their shoulders, ready for another active shooter. thanks to the drills our society has normalized in our classrooms. she continued, playing outside his normal.
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going to school is normal. fear of a shooter is not normal, but now in highland park, illinois, and so many other american communities, it is the new normal. it cannot be said enough that mass shootings with assault weapons are a unique american phenomenon. they are devastating. so devastating. i want to show you another picture. this is cooper roberts, eight years old. cooper and his twin brother luke went to the parade with their mom and dad, and in the course of the shooting, he was shot. he has gone through at least seven or eight surgeries now, touch and go for many days as to if he would live. his family, in addition to the damage that was done to his body, his spinal cord was
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severed by this same bullet. you see, when you fire an assault weapon at a human body, it hits that body at three times the ordinary velocity of any other firearm. it was originally designed by the united states army to achieve a single goal described to us in the committee yesterday. that goal was to be able to shoot one of these ar-15's and pierce a metal helmet worn by a soldier 500 yards away. five football fields. the ar-15. it is not another firearm. it is a killing weapon. unfortunately, cooper roberts was in the line of fire. we pray that he recovers. his mom and dad kept all of us
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posted as to his progress, but if you think about the devastation that an ar-15, combat weapon, assault rifle can do to a human body, imagine what it did to this poor little boy's body. that's the reality of the issue we are discussing. many gun manufacturers like smith & wesson, bushmaster, and daniel defense have launched ad campaigns marketing their assault weapons like they are crash and accessories. let me show you a few of their advertisements. this is from mossberg. engineered to the specs of freedom and independence, standard salute tactical rifle, we are america's oldest family-own firearms manufacturer, building dependable, hard-working rifles and shotguns since 1990.
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american build, american strong. arm yourself with a mossberg. that is the type of weapon that shot cooper roberts, that killed the parents of aiden mccarthy. how is it being marketed? a symbol of independence and freedom. some of these other ads. want proof of your manhood? consider your man card reissue, says bushmaster with their ar-15. or make sure, as i said in the hearing yesterday, that these weapons are -- want to make sure, as i said in the hearing yesterday, that these weapons are properly characterized? i will tell you how to characterize them. to suggest that this typifies the values of this country is just plain wrong and offensive.
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it is time for us to name and shame these companies. it is time to hold them accountable for the devastation that they make possible. how many ar-15's are there in america? we don't really know. the best estimate? 20 million. 20 million. i want to dispel the common talking point. they claim our communities don't need good gun safety laws. all they need are good guys with guns. i wish it were that simple. it is not. in one survey of 433 active shooter attacks, how many were stopped by a good guy with a gun? 22. out of 433. about 5%. half of those 22 were security guards and trained law enforcement who were off-duty
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duty. the sad reality is when law enforcement come across someone holding a gun, they do not know if it is a perpetrator, a danger, or someone on the others. this notion that we are going to come to the rescue of one another and stop mass shootings is not a reality. 5% of active shooter attacks stop by a good guy with a gun. 5%. imagine buying a car and being told there's only a 5% chance the airbag will go off if you need it in a crash. you would not take that car out of the dealership and for good reason. we heard testimony yesterday from a rand corporation firearms expert. she told us that assault weapons make mass shootings significantly more lethal. the evidence is clear -- it is time for us to have a national
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conversation about america and mass shooting. let me say manufacturers should not get off the hook. let me show you one of the things particularly outrageous. sadly, this is in my home state of illinois. it is a jr-15. it is designed to look like an ar-15, the combat weapon assault rifle. it is lighter so it can be carried by a kid. here are the symbols -- they are skulls. they are skulls of children. each of them has a pacifier in his mouth. it is not just on this poster and on this ad. this is a kids' assault weapon. think about that for a second, in america, that that is even thought of.
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the hearing yesterday showed an outpouring of people from highland park in numbers that i never expected. i believe there were 100 people there who came up to washington to make sure all of us in congress knew what happened in highland park, how their village and their lives were changed on the fourth of july. what are we going to do about it, mr. president? shrug your shoulders -- shrug our shoulders and wait for the next mass shooting? frankly, i cannot understand people trying to defend the right to own an assault rifle in america. one senator argued, it is just an inanimate object. don't blame the object for the results. i wonder if he feels the same way about a grenade launcher. should people have the right to
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own grenade launchers? why doesn't this weapon fall into a similar category? a combat army assault weapon that is being used by individuals to kill so many innocent people in this country, to kill them at a concert in las vegas, at schools in connecticut, at schools in texas, at fourth of july parades in my home state. last month, we did come together, and i want to salute senator murphy, to pass a bill that was the most important gun safety law that we considered in three decades. i voted for it. it did not address this issue at all except in the background checks of those under 21, but did not address the issue of if these guns should even be in america at this point, legally in america.
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incidentally, this shooter, who seemed to have a pretty ill-feted life from the start, managed to buy high-capacity magazines. why in the world is anybody need a high-capacity clip magazine? i don't understand it. it does not have any practical value for sport or hunting. we need to address the widespread problem of civilian access to military weapons, even for shooters as young as 18. i thank the people from highland park for coming yesterday and all the brave law enforcement and first responders who i saw gathered that evening. we owe them a lot. they are doing an amazing job and we should pay tribute to
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them and what they did, but even they, being present and armed, could not stop this from happening. they were up against a mighty weapon, a weapon we trust for the military and the police, a weapon which has no place in the hands of people like the shooter from highland park on the fourth of july. so are we going to continue this american tradition of mass shootings? sadly, we will, unless this senate decides it is worth the fight, worth the political debate. after highland park, count me in. i want to be on the record of saying it is time to put an end to these assault rifles, these weapons of war which have sadly taken so many innocent lives like poor aiden mccarthy's parents and five others who died in highland park. i hope for the children's sake that we don't run away from this problem. the people of highland park have
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run away from the fourth of july parade, and now they are counting on us. mr. president, i yield the floor . >> earlier today, jamie raskin, a member of the january 6 committee, and a former federal judge joined a panel discussion on the events surrounding the u.s. capitol attack. you can watch the discussion tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span now, our free mobile app, or online at ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal" -- every day, we take your calls live on the air on the news of the day and policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning, we talk about campaign 2022 with a republican poster and strategist and a democratic strategist. during part five of our series landmark legislation, the welfare reform act of 1966, we
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c-span now -- your front row seat to washington any time, anywhere. >> earlier this week, democratic senator joe manchin and republican susan collins, spoke about bipartisan legislation that seeks to make changes in how the electoral votes are counted. this runs 20 minutes. . >> mr. president i rise today to acknowledge a month a bipartisan, hard work is going to two bills that we are filing today the electoral count, reforming presidential transition improvement act, i repeat the electoral count, reforming presidential transition improvement act and the enhanced selection security and protection act. i'd like to commend my dear friend senator susan collins for his leadership throughout this process she has been shepherding this through and working diligently as only she can oes it so well.


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