Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL07) released a statement in support of the Protecting Our Kids Act and President Joe Biden’s address to the nation urging strict new gun control measures. President Biden spoke Thursday evening in response to recent gun violence, most notably the slaying of two teachers and 17 children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“President Biden said it best,” Sewell said. “The epidemic of gun violence is turning our communities into battlefields and leaving families broken and devastated. We cannot continue to mourn these tragedies without doing all we can to prevent them. I join President Biden and Americans of every background in calling on my congressional colleagues to take action.

“Next week, the House will consider the Protecting Our Kids Act which includes common-sense gun safety measures supported by the vast majority of Americans. This critical bill would crack down on illegal gun trafficking, raise the age to purchase semi-automatic weapons, strengthen background checks and prevent guns from getting into the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. While we can’t prevent every tragedy, these measures will greatly reduce the impact of gun violence on our communities and save lives. I will be voting yes, and I urge my colleagues to set aside party politics and do the same.”

Sewell claims the act will not affect law-abiding citizens.

“To be clear, these measures do not target responsible gun owners,” Sewell said. “This is about common-sense measures that will keep our children, families, and communities safe.

“For so many of you at home, I want to be very clear: This is not about taking away anyone’s guns.  It’s about vili- — not about vilifying gum [sic] — gun owners.  In fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave.  I respect the culture and the tradition and the concerns of lawful gun owners,”

Biden said in his remarks to the public, “There have always been limitations on what weapons you can own in America.  For example, machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years.  And this is still a free country. This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights.  It’s about protecting children.  It’s about protecting families.  It’s about protecting whole communities.  It’s about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store and to a church without being shot and killed. At the same time, the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”

The Protecting Our Kids Act, H.R. 7910, was marked up by the House Judiciary Committee today and is expected to come to the House Floor for a vote next week.

Not everyone is in support of the Democrats’ gun control bill.

Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL02) attributes the rise in gun violence not to Americans having guns but rather the steep moral decline that has resulted in failed single-parent families.

“Again it’s a heart issue. Fatherless homes along with failed family units are causing kids to raise themselves,” Moore wrote on social media along with a meme about guns but no school shootings in 1950s America. “They can’t, and they shouldn’t have to. Might be time to put prayer back in schools and have Godly men leading our homes in the admonition of Christ.”

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL06) also attributes the violence to a spiritual decline.

“In terms of what the President said, as usual, he is way off base and inappropriate,” Palmer told WERC 105.5 radio the day after the Uvalde shooting. “We are living now in a culture of despair. When you have 107,000 people dying from drug overdose - and that is probably underreported [by] 15 to 20% - when it is the leading cause of death for people age 18 to 25, when you have a record number of people under 25 committing suicide, and then you have incidents like what happened yesterday, it is indicative of a nation that is dying spiritually. We are living in a culture of death and despair and the president wants to blame it on an inanimate object when this guy, I don’t know what his motivation was, shot his grandmother, is clearly a guy who wanted to harm people.”

The legislation will likely pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, but it will need bipartisan support to pass in the Senate to get to the president’s desk.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell is serving in her sixth term representing Alabama's Seventh Congressional District.

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