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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 9, 2019 04:15 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Address Gun Violence and Condemn Extreme and Inflammatory Rhetoric

Our communities are plagued by grief and sorrow due to needless and preventable deaths. A significant number of accidental deaths, deaths by suicide, deaths by homicide and the growing threat ravaging our nation, the mass casualty events; such as the domestic terrorist incident at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, are a result of gun violence. The United States has a gun homicide rate 25 times higher than countries like us. Simply put, our citizens are dying.

With each mass casualty shooting, overwhelming support grows among Pennsylvanians and the American public for reasonable reforms to address gun violence and save lives. Despite promises to fix a broken system, action is never taken because a large and powerful organization exists that opposes any and all attempts to address gun violence. This organization influences gun control policy through its feared and powerful political lobbying branch and its persuasive political action committee. By characterizing its opponents as monsters or evil and deploying its highly publicized and often damaging legislator report cards, it can sway politicians and voters alike. Its fundamentalist, terror-filled narrative portraying an “us v. them” society has inspired people to carry out acts of domestic terrorism in the form of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, Gilroy, California and within the Commonwealth.

Words matter. They inspire action. When it comes to the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence, it is time that we, as legislators, take a stand for our citizens and choose to preserve life and condemn the extreme and inflammatory rhetoric that has stoked the flames of fundamentalist ideology. Gun violence is more than a tragedy, it’s a social epidemic that requires our immediate action. Please join me in saving lives.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

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Introduced as HR604