“Despite wake-up call after wake-up call, a shameful tradition of Congressional inaction continues,” wrote New Hampshire representative Carol Shea-Porter and California representative Mike Thompson in their letter demanding for a vote on gun violence prevention legislation. Signed by 163 members of congress, the letter was addressed to speaker of the house John Boehner and blamed loopholes, straw purchasers, failures in the mental health care system, and limitations within law enforcement for the tragic amount of gun violence in America. Among those who signed, four of the representatives were from Pennsylvania: Chaka Fattah, Allyson Schwartz, Mike Doyle, and Matthew Catwright. Authors of the letter wrote, “We agree with you that we must honor the victims of the recent shootings in Portland, Las Vegas and Santa Barbara. But moments of silence on the floor of the House are not enough. The last thing these victims and their families need is further silence from this Congress. They deserve a vote.”
Additionally, the Gun Violence Task Force, which Representative Thomson chairs, recently has released a set of policies that would decrease senseless gun violence without violating second amendment rights. The most notable of these policies is a bill that would strengthen background checks. The bill proposes to enforce background checks on all gun commercial sales, including gun show sales, sales over the Internet, and sales through newspaper ads. Both Representative Thompson and Representative Shea-Porter hope to see gun violence prevention legislation move through Congress soon.
See the full letter and all 163 signatures here.