Jun 08, 2022
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday took aim at lax gun control laws in mostly Republican-run states and the firearm industry lobby, which she accused of spending hundreds of millions of dollars in "blood money" to obstruct reforms supported by most Americans.
"Let's talk about one thing more important to lobbyists and the gun industry than children... Let's talk about profit."
The New York Democrat, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, spoke during a panel hearing at which people affected by mass shootings including last month's massacres in New York and Texas gave harrowing testimonies of how the epidemic of U.S. gun violence has forever changed their lives.
"Let's talk facts here," she said. "There's no discussion about gun violence in New York City without discussing the 'Iron Pipeline,' that is Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and honorable mention to Ohio, where 70% of likely illegal trafficked guns in New York City come from."
"There's no discussion of gun violence in Chicago without talking about Indiana," the Squad member added. "Because the... mothers we have to comfort are losing children due to the guns and the carnage and the lawlessness unleashed by those states."
\u201c\u201cFor all the billions and trillions that this body authorizes in the name of National Security, we can\u2019t even keep our kids safe from their schools being turned into a war zone.\u201d\n\nFollowing testimony from victims of the Buffalo & Uvalde shootings, Rep. AOC spoke on gun reform \u2b07\ufe0f\u201d— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1654714978
Comparing the 288 U.S. school shootings between 2009 and 2018 with the five such incidents that took place in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom combined during that same period, Ocasio-Cortez contended that "this is not normal."
"Not only is it not normal, it is internationally embarrassing and delegitimizing to the United States," she said. "For all the billions and trillions that this body authorizes in the name of national security, we can't even keep our kids safe from their schools being turned into a war zone."
"Now let's talk about why," the congresswoman continued. Let's talk about one thing more important to lobbyists and the gun industry than children... Let's talk about profit."
"This is about blood money," she asserted, later noting that the National Rifle Association (NRA) "spent about $250 million in 2020 alone" on lobbying against gun control legislation, or more than twice the salary of all 535 members of Congress combined.
"There's also this discussion about anything but a gun, but that [mass shootings] are about violent people," Ocasio-Cortez added. "But yet we aren't doing anything about addressing the actual root cause of misogyny where two-thirds of mass shootings are connected to domestic violence, or the emergence of white supremacy, radicalization, mass incarceration, and poverty."
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