That means I do not want applause for or against any position I might take or anybody else takes. The Capitol Police have been notified to remove any audience member who interferes with the orderly conduct of this important hearing.
This incidentally, is a warning I give at many hearings.
We’re going to hear a lot of different perspectives on gun violence.
And both Senator Grassley and I will give opening statements . But we have a former member of Congress here, Gabby Giffords, who’s going to give a brief message and -- and leave.
And Captain Kelly, thank you for your help in bringing your wife here.
GIFFORDS: OK . Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans.
Speaking is difficult. But I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something.
It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you.
LEAHY: Captain Kelly, do you want to help Ms. Giffords out? And we’ll give you a few moments and then...
LEAHY: We return to the hearing.
LEAHY: And I -- I thank former Congressman (sic) Giffords and -- and her husband. We will be calling up the witnesses shortly. And Senator Grassley and I will give our opening statements.
You know, on December 14th, America’s heart was broken when 20 young children and six dedicated educators were murdered. This is the first Judiciary Committee hearing of the 113th Congress. And I want everybody here to join the discussion as part of a collective effort to find solutions, to help ensure that no family, no school, no community ever has to endure such a grievous tragedy again.
We have to come together today as Americans seeking common cause. I hope we can forego sloganeering and demagoguery and partisan recrimination. It’s too important for that. We should all be here as Americans. Every American abhors the recent tragedies. In just the last two years, an elementary school in Connecticut; a movie theater in Colorado; in a sacred place of worship in Wisconsin; in front of a shopping mall in Arizona. And Americans are looking to us for solutions and for action. This committee is a focal point for that process.
I’ve introduced a measure to provide law enforcement agencies with stronger tools against illegal gun trafficking. Others have proposed restrictions on military-style weapons and the size of ammunition clips. Others have proposed modifications to the background check system to keep guns out of the wrong hands while not unnecessarily burdening law-abiding citizens.