Washington—AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement demanding senators allow a vote on gun safety legislation.
"Senators have a choice: They can live up to their obligation to keep our children and families safe from heinous gun violence, or they can bow to the demands of the gun manufacturers intent on flooding our nation with more guns and large ammunition clips.
"Nearly four months ago, 26 first-graders and their teachers were ruthlessly massacred by a gunman armed with an assault weapon that could fire up to six bullets every second. They faced a barrage of 155 bullets in less than five minutes, and each victim was hit with more than 11 bullets. These first-graders and their teachers were just beginning to explore subtraction, synonyms and identifying the main idea of a story. They had hopes, dreams and their entire lives ahead of them—lives cut short by a military-style assault weapon that has no place in our society and by a gunman who should never have had access to a gun.
"No law can bring those precious lives back, and we will never be able to prevent every senseless act of gun violence. But we owe it to those 26 children and educators, to the more than 3,000 Americans killed by guns since 12/14 and to the American people, to do everything we can to keep our schools, our children and our communities safe from gun violence. The commonsense gun safety legislation before Congress is far from perfect, but it is a necessary first step toward this goal, and the American people deserve a vote. The time is now for a vote on comprehensive background checks, cracking down on illegal gun trafficking, and a ban on large magazine clips and military assault weapons.
"It is unconscionable that any senator would attempt to block a vote on these commonsense gun safety proposals that are supported by a majority of Americans."