|More Than 80 Every Day|
Twenty elementary school children and six adults were murdered last week at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Just a few months earlier, six Sikhs were murdered at their place of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Just a few weeks before that, 12 moviegoers were murdered in Aurora, Colorado.
These unspeakable tragedies are just the tip of the iceberg. Each day, more than 80 people die by gunfire in homicides, suicides, and accidents.
We can’t just keep saying, “Our hearts ache for the victims and their families.” We have to bring gun violence under control.
In the aftermath of these horrific events, there are, as always, those who warn us against “politicizing” this tragedy by discussing gun safety. These claims are ideologically motivated, and they are profoundly wrong.
When, after a hurricane strikes, we advocate for funding to mitigate future floods, that is not “politicizing” a tragedy. When, after a terrorist attack, we advocate for better measures to prevent future deaths, that is not “politicizing” a tragedy. The notion that gun violence is somehow different, that it deserves unique immunity from serious conversation in our political dialogue, is nonsensical.
Policymakers have an obligation to respond to problems by finding solutions. The solution to gun violence is, in part, to address gun safety – as well as to address mental health care, school security, and more. Toward this end, I will soon introduce legislation to require handgun registration and to strengthen school safety, and I remain committed to improving mental health care throughout this country.
Bold, Persistent Experimentation
The artificial crisis known as the fiscal cliff remains, at this moment, unresolved. The President and Republican leadership continue to debate within the foolish framework set during last year’s debt ceiling showdown.
I remain ready to work in Washington to see that this artificial crisis is fixed. But simply fixing the fiscal cliff is not enough. Congress aims too low if it seeks only to resolve a crisis of its own making.
We must do far more. We must address unemployment, inequality, and America’s lack of a shared vision for renewing our nation’s greatness. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said in the depths of the Great Depression:
“The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something…
“We need enthusiasm, imagination, and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer.”
Beginning the 113th Congress
On January 3, 2013, I will formally take the oath of office as a member of the 113th Congress, and you are invited to join.
The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. Lunch will be served after the program, and guided sightseeing tours of Capitol Hill attractions will follow.
For more information or to RSVP, please call (202) 225-5801.
P.S. Just a reminder: I always want to hear from you, but to ensure a prompt response, please don’t reply to this e-mail. Instead, please visit holt.house.gov/contact or call 1-87-RUSH-HOLT (1-877-874-4658).