In a rare Senate hearing on gun violence prevention Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said the effects of gun violence are obvious in his New Jersey neighborhood.
“I think I’m the only senator that lives in a neighborhood where there are regular shootings,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Booker shared a statistic that showed black men are the victims of more than half of all homicides in the United States.
“This is something that is very painful to me that we can’t do something to address these issues,” he told the committee.
“I’m tired of seeing sidewalk shrines to dead children in my community and in cities all across America and people doing nothing to put gun safety laws in place that we agree with in terms of getting it to a vote in this body,” he added.
Watch the video below:
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 26, 2019
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was to address “red flag” laws that could allow family members and law enforcement to petition to a judge to confiscate the firearm of someone who they’re concerned could commit violence.
Booker argued that laws like those are overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle.
“We’ve got to pass commonsense gun safety laws,” he said. “I can’t believe that we watched New Zealand come together as a country within seven days of a mass shooting and do something. Now, we may not agree with their tactics or their strategy across the aisle, but we can do so much more, there’s so much common ground on this issue.”
First two Parkland students and now this. Gun violence is an epidemic in this country—we have a responsibility to take this seriously and pass legislation that will curb the violence and take care of survivors and their families. https://t.co/QUONz2xjMQ
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 25, 2019
Booker also addressed the recent suicides of people connected to the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings. “These things ripple out and destroy people’s lives.”
The hearing was headed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said that he and other Republicans were open to discussing red flag laws.
“I really can’t see a reason why we can’t pursue this at the federal level, to incentivize states,” he said.