DNC Chair’s Statement on Anniversary of Emanuel AME Church Shootings

WASHINGTON – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Emanuel AME Church shootings, and the upcoming Senate vote on gun violence prevention:

“A year ago today, the members of the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina welcomed a stranger into their bible study. As the congregants worshiped peacefully together, the stranger drew a gun, and shot and killed nine of them, motivated by racial hatred. Sadly, this anniversary comes as we mourn the victims of another tragic hate crime, this time a terrorist act targeting members of the LGBT community in Orlando – the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history. As we mark this sad anniversary, as we remember the lives of the Mother Emanuel nine, and as we pray for the many victims of gun violence across our country, we must also recommit ourselves to preventing senseless tragedies like these from ever happening again. We cannot end hate, but we can disarm it. Democrats are committed to making our communities more secure and ending this epidemic by passing sensible gun violence prevention laws.

“With a historic filibuster this week, Democrats are forcing a vote on legislation that 71% of Americans believe would effectively fight terrorism by denying anyone on the terror watch list from buying a gun. But Republicans, led by their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, are standing with the gun lobby. In a cheap political stunt, congressional Republicans have proposed a bill of their own, but it’s one that sets standards so high it would remain virtually impossible for law enforcement to stop the sale of a gun, even to someone on the terrorist watch list. That’s what Trump supports, and it’s no surprise given his dangerous rhetoric on the campaign trail. Trump has campaigned on calling for an end to all gun-free school zones, expanding concealed carry permits to all 50 states, and rescinding President Obama’s measures to streamline federal background checks. We’re going to hold them accountable. It is long past time that we start putting the security of American families first. Thoughts and prayers are simply not enough, and empty political posturing like Trump’s won’t cut it.”