Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D- NC) started the press conference by saying, “This is an important day.” He continued, “Last night, despicable crimes were committed,” regarding the massacre in Dallas.
Butterfield immediately proceeded to call out the Republicans for failing to get on board with the CBC’s civil liberty-crushing gun control plan.
We need legislative action now. We don’t need to leave the Hill this week or any week without assuring the American people that we understand the problem of police misconduct in America. We understand the murders of innocent black Americans. We get it. We understand the problems faced by our law enforcement officers and I don’t want to diminish that in this conversation today. We understand the problems faced by law enforcement officers, most of whom put on the uniform every day and serve and protect our communities.
Republicans, what on Earth — why are you recoiling and not giving us a debate on gun violence? Why not give it a hearing? Give us a debate. Give us an up or down vote on legislation on gun violence. Why? Last night while on the floor, we were advised that several hundred protesters were en route to the Capitol, demonstrating and protesting and exercising the First Amendment rights, their First Amendment rights by demanding that we as elected officials protect their sons and daughters and their grandsons and granddaughters, their brothers and their sisters.
Just a reminder that you cannot exercise your Second Amendment right at the Capitol.
I applaud —we applaud the demonstrators last night for telling us the deaths of Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights gives them the energy and determination they need to pull off the Band-Aid of the stain of irresponsible police killings in America. The two acts of murder this week that we all so sadly know must be addressed by law enforcement. It must be addressed by the Congress of the United States.
If we fail to act, this will be a long hot summer. In the rally audience last evening, a young lady held up a sign that read, “I wept more last night than I slept.” Colleagues, America is weeping. They are angry. They are frustrated. And Congress, when I say Congress, I mean the Republicans in Congress, are refusing to address gun violence in America that targets black men and black women and Hispanic men and Hispanic women and, yes, even police officers.
The Congressional Black Caucus is frustrated. You want to say we’re mad, we’re mad. We are determined to take our advocacy now to a higher level.
We don’t even know what weapons were involved, whether they were obtained legally or who all the people responsible for the massacre are and yet these partisan hacks can’t shove their despotic faces in front of a camera fast enough to demagogue their issue.
Shame on you, Congressional Black Caucus.