I attended a meeting on January 14 with Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and other members of a Congressional task force on reducing gun violence.
The majority of Americans support policies designed to protect them from gun violence and we’re working hard to enact them. We’re taking a holistic approach to the problem, looking at not just our commerce and safety regulations on weapons but also at our mental health, judicial and education systems.
We will not let fear-mongering about taking away Second Amendment rights – which are the law of the land – deter Washington from taking reasonable and lawful measures to save innocent lives. I’m grateful that the White House is showing so much commitment to reducing gun violence and look forward to seeing the Administration’s recommendations when they’re released.
At the meeting, I spoke from my perspective as a victim of gun violence – my husband was killed and son gravely wounded in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in 1993 – as an ICU nurse, as an advocate and as a lawmaker.
I told Vice President Biden and his cabinet members about her package of legislation to reduce gun violence, including:
- a bill to ban high-capacity assault magazines
- the Fix Gun Checks Act, to require universal background checks and strengthen the nation’s background check database
- a bill to ban the bulk anonymous online purchase of ammunition
I also told the group about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s new and updated assault weapons ban, the House version of which she and Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado will introduce later this month.
The group also discussed the need for a holistic approach to reducing violence that includes reforms to the nation’s mental health, judicial and education systems, including better early-detection of problems and better security.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.