Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senate Republicans blocking passage of the Assault Weapons Ban and the need to fight for stronger gun safety laws as the U.S. confronts the scourge of gun violence in America. Senator Schumer also asked for a moment of silence to honor those lost and injured in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road thirty years ago today. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday morning, Democrats came to the floor of the Senate to try to pass the Assault Weapons Ban and other life-saving gun safety legislation.
Sadly, Republicans stood in the way of the Senate passing life-saving legislation to [help] rid the scourge of gun violence in America.
Just hours later, we learned of yet another shooting, on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Our prayers are with the victims of the shooting at UNLV and their families. Our prayers are with the students and staff of the university reeling from this horror. And thanks to the brave law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting and prevented even more deaths.
The pain from these shootings in these communities never truly fades. I still remember the pain I felt when I first heard about the Long Island Rail Road massacre, which happened in my own backyard.
Today, December 7th, marks 30 years since the Long Island Rail Road massacre.
It is heartbreaking that the horrors of a tragedy 30 years old still feel like it happened yesterday. I remember the reports well: the 5:33 PM rush-hour train from Penn Station, filled with commuters, average working Americans going home after a hard day’s work to see their families.
Moments later, a gunman unleashed carnage. Six dead. Nineteen injured. Many more lives shattered and changed forever. Among those killed and injured were the husband and son of Carolyn McCarthy, a nurse from Mineola.
Following the shooting, Carolyn began to advocate for tougher gun laws. Carolyn understood that something had to change.
So, after Carolyn’s congressman at the time announced he would be voting to repeal the Assault Weapons Ban that I had championed – I carried the law in the House – she took matters into her own hands and ran for a seat in the House and won on that issue.
She served in Congress for eighteen years with me and many of my colleagues in this building, and remained a vocal advocate for stronger gun safety laws.
So, now, in memory of those lost and those injured 30 years ago today on the 5:33 PM Long Island Rail Road train, I ask for this chamber to observe a brief moment of silence.