Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who serves as the Senate Judiciary Chairman, called the recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, “devastating,” noting that he “can’t keep up with” the sheer number of mass shootings that happen in the United States annually.
“I can’t keep up with it,” he said during his opening statement at a committee hearing on gun violence. “I can’t change and amend my opening statement to keep up with it. It just keeps coming at us. We are numb to the numbers. Unless we are personally touched, it’s just another statistic. That has got to stop.”
Durbin said that even as the country faces “a pandemic of coronavirus, we have another epidemic in America called guns.”
“I could ask for a moment of silence for the mass shooting in Boulder last night, and after that is completed I could ask for a moment of silence for the shooting in Atlanta six days ago, and after a minute, I could ask for a moment of silence for the 29 mass shootings that occurred this month in the United States,” he said. “But in addition to a moment of silence I would like to ask for a moment of action, a moment of real caring, a moment when we don’t allow others to do what we need to do. Prayer leaders have their important place in this, but we are Senate leaders. What are we doing? What are we doing, other than reflecting and praying? That’s a good starting point, that shouldn’t be our endpoint.”
You can hear Durbin’s remarks in the video below.
Senate Jud. Cmte. Chair Durbin at gun violence hearing:
"We face a pandemic of coronavirus. We have another epidemic in America called guns … Prayer leaders have their important place in this. But we are Senate leaders … What are we doing, other than reflecting and praying?" pic.twitter.com/0TyL09kEsJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 23, 2021
Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, were killed in a shooting at the King Soopers supermarket last night. The suspect has been identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, of Arvada, Colorado. Boulder Police Chief Maris Harold said Alissa has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Earlier today, Colorado Representative Jason Crow called for comprehensive gun control measures in the wake of the shooting.
“There are common sense laws and legislation that we can pass that will help make our communities safer. We just have to get them done. It’s that simple,” he told CNN’s John Berman during an appearance on “New Day.”
Senate Republicans have responded by announcing they would opposed expanding background checks on firearms purchases.