Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement:
“To the families who lost loved ones during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, today, know that your country’s compassion and thoughts go out to you. Our hearts break with yours.
“To those injured, know that the American people are praying your recovery.
“To the first responders who put their lives on the line daily, thank you.
“And to people across the United States, know that the moment for silence is gone. The moment for screaming out in protest is here.
“Anger is an appropriate response to senseless gun violence and political inaction. Moments of silence used to be for showing honor or respect. There is nothing honorable about keeping silent and doing nothing to prevent gun violence. Even as children, worshipers, concert-goers, and people from all walks of life die in one mass shooting after another, Congress has rejected every reasonable gun bill proposed in the past decade.
“Every day in this country, forty-six children are shot. Every day in this country, seven children die from gun violence. Those statistics do not occur in any other high-income country on this planet. Those of us who are parents may not be able to protect our children from the world, but those of us who are Members of the United States Congress have the power to make the world safer for all children.
“The American people are right to be angry at their government for failing to pass reasonable gun safety laws. They have a right to scream out, to speak up, to sit in, and to protest until Congress does something.”