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Congressman Moulton Joins Rep. John Lewis On House Floor Sit-In

Jun 28, 2016 10:56AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Congressman Seth Moulton

(Editor's Note: this content was provided by Cong. Moulton's office.)

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) delivered the following remarks on the floor of the House as he joined a sit-in to demand a vote on common sense gun reform legislation. Remarks as delivered:

“I came to this House from the United States Marine Corps. I had to carry an assault rifle every single day to do my job. I’ve seen the effects of gun violence firsthand. I know what it looks like when someone gets shot. I know what it looks like when one of your friends and colleagues is bleeding out on the battlefield. There is no place for that on America’s streets. There is no place for that in America’s schools. There is no place for that in America’s movie theaters. There is no place for that in America’s nightclubs.

"There is a big difference between a Marine or a soldier who is trained for hours upon hours, months upon months on the rifle range to know how to use a weapon safely. There’s a big difference between that and a civilian or a terrorist who can walk into a gun shop or a gun show or go online and legally buy weapons of war today.

"Every single amendment to the Constitution has reasonable restrictions. Even the first amendment has reasonable restrictions. In fact, even the second amendment has reasonable restrictions. I not only carried an assault rifle with me every day, I carried a grenade. I was trained to use a grenade and carry it safely. But we have made a decision as a society that we will not allow civilians to walk around with grenades. We don’t allow civilians to walk around with landmines or rockets. There are lots of weapons of war that are reasonably restricted here at home. I support the second amendment as does just about everybody on the floor today. But you don’t have to be opposed to the second amendment to support reasonable restrictions to keep our country safe.

"And what we’re asking for is reasonable.

"If you’re on the no fly list and not allowed to fly, you should not be able to buy a gun. And if there are problems with the no fly list, then let’s fix it. But tell me this, if there are so many problems with the no fly list, why do we have the no fly list? Why are these people not allowed to fly? I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that everybody in this body flies home every weekend.

"Is the freedom to travel not afforded to Americans? Is that not a right that we care about? Do we live in a government that can tell you, you cannot board a plane just arbitrarily? No. That is a basic freedom. It’s so basic that we didn’t even have to include it in the Bill of Rights. If there is a problem with the no fly list, then let’s fix it.

"Universal background checks. Nine out of ten Americans believes we ought to have universal background checks to buy a gun. Now, think about the system we have today. Think about it in terms of flying. Imagine if our security system for the TSA were that if you went up to the airline ticket counter to buy a ticket, you had to go through security. But, if you buy that same ticket online, don’t worry about it, you just go right around. That’s the system we have, those are the laws we have for buying guns today. That’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd. How many of you would get on a plane if you saw everybody around you who bought their ticket online just going right around you?

"I don’t think any of us would be comfortable flying. And yet, that’s perfectly acceptable when it comes to buying guns.

"When Speaker Ryan took that seat, that chair, that is vacant right now, he spoke about working with Democrats and Republicans. And he said specifically that if we could just have an intellectually honest debate in this House, we could do some good things for the American people.

"Well, it’s not intellectually honest if you can’t even conduct a study on gun violence. It’s not intellectually honest if we cannot even have a debate in the House of Representatives on reasonable restrictions to keep communities safe. It’s not intellectually honest if we can’t even be on TV when we are here because the Speaker of the House has shut off the TV cameras. And it’s not intellectually honest if we cannot even have a vote.

"Fundamentally, what we are asking for tonight is just a bit of honesty. It’s honesty to do our jobs and represent the American people. When nine out of ten Americans out there in our country agree with what we are asking for and think that it’s reasonable, we ought to just do our jobs. That’s what we are here to do. Do our jobs for the American people. Let’s do our job.”
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