[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 56 (Wednesday, April 18, 2012)]
[House]
[Pages H1918-H1919]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              GUN VIOLENCE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Quigley) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. QUIGLEY. Mr. Speaker, the number one fear of Chicago elementary 
schoolchildren is not braces or book reports or the dentist. It is 
getting shot. More than 500 Chicago students were involved in gun 
violence in the last 2 years, and 34 were killed by guns last year. In 
a single week in June, there were 60 shootings in Chicago.
  The Chicago police traced many of the guns used in these types of 
shootings to gun shows in neighboring States. You can go to a gun show 
in neighboring State Indiana and buy any weapon you want without a 
single background check. You can be a convicted felon or a domestic 
abuser who is under a restraining order or a suspected terrorist, and 
you can walk right in to a gun show and walk out with an assault 
weapon.
  A member of Hezbollah purchased weapons at an American gun show the 
day before 9/11. Is this what the American people want? Do the American 
people approve of a situation in which terrorists can buy guns without 
even the level of tracking we use for airplane tickets or cold 
medicine?
  The American people want our law enforcement officers to have the 
tools they need to catch the bad guys. Eighty-one percent of gun owners 
support requiring a background check on all firearm purchases. Ninety 
percent of all Americans favor strengthening databases to prevent the 
mentally ill from buying guns. Sixty-nine percent of NRA members--
that's NRA members--support closing the gun show loophole.
  So why aren't we acting on these areas where there is such 
overwhelming public support? Well, the majority has to rally its base, 
and the NRA has to send more urgent appeals for support based on 
imagined threats. So, this week, we're courageously protecting bullets 
from harmful regulation by the EPA, because a little lead in the water 
never hurt anyone, right?
  The bill also gives sportsmen the right to stand their ground against 
polar bears. Anyone who opposes vigilante justice against this arctic 
menace is clearly a gun-grabbing Communist. All of this would be funny 
if the same mentality weren't being used by the NRA against our 
Nation's youth. Twenty-five States have passed Stand Your Ground laws, 
declaring open season on anyone considered threatening to anyone at any 
time.
  These laws were not passed because of a public demand for them. They 
were passed because the NRA teamed up with some of the largest soft 
drink manufacturing and retailing corporations to push for these laws. 
Why soda companies would support the efforts to pass these laws is 
beyond me; but the impact is that a 17-year-old who is buying one of 
their sodas is now under a much greater threat. Let's have a reality 
check. Let's take action on one of these areas where there is clear, 
overwhelming support.
  I sat in this Chamber and listened to Mexican President Felipe 
Calderon plead with Congress to close this loophole that fuels violence 
between the cartels in his country; but as the NRA president, himself, 
has pointed out, Congress has done nothing. We hold hearings to point 
out that the ATF lacks leadership but continue to block the appointment 
of a director. We talk about the need to enforce the laws on the books 
but look the other way as those laws are ignored at gun shows. We stop 
suspected terrorists from boarding airplanes but not from buying 30-
round clips. All of this is based on the fantasy that denying 
terrorists assault rifles is the first step to national gun 
confiscation.
  The Supreme Court answered that in the D.C. and Chicago handgun 
cases. The Court found that there is an individual right to bear arms. 
It is a limited right, subject to local control, but it is a right. 
That is now settled law, so the people who make their livings scaring 
gun owners have to resort to conspiracy theories to keep the donations

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coming. Now is the time to move past the beltway extremists and listen 
to the American people. Are these tough votes? Maybe, but that's what 
we were sent here to do.
  I want to mention Blair Holt, a Chicago high school student, son of 
two lifelong public servants. Blair was riding a bus, while on his way 
home from school, when a gun was pulled on his friend. He stepped in 
front of the gun and was shot to death while protecting his friend.
  I ask my colleagues to think of that the next time they want to claim 
they can't do anything about gun violence. Blair Holt was willing to 
take a bullet for a friend. Shouldn't we be willing to take a tough 
vote for our children?

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