In a push for action on gun control legislation, Congresswoman Robin Kelly on Thursday read the names of 50 children who’ve died in and around Chicago as a result of gun violence.
Late last month, Rep. Kelly, a Chicago Democrat, and the vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, vowed to read the names of 5,950 gun violence victims on the House floor. That’s one name for each dollar House Speaker Paul Ryan received from the National Rifle Association last election cycle.
“We know what the problem is and we know what policy solutions work,” Kelly said in a press release. “Sadly, the silence and inaction of Congressional Republicans has been bought and paid for.”
The 50 names she read Thursday were of children aged 2-16 who were killed in Chicagoland in the last 18 months. Last month, she read 50 other names, including 21 of Speaker Ryan’s constituents.
She says she’s going to “keep saying names until we do something to end gun violence.”
To that end, she wants a vote on legislation that would enact universal background checks, a vote on a federal gun trafficking bill, and a vote on a bill that would reinstate the so-called “assault weapons ban.” She also wants lawmakers to vote on a jobs bill “that creates opportunity so kids pick up pencils and books instead of guns.”
“This is something that has bipartisan support,” she said Thursday on the House floor. “Universal background checks is something 74 percent of NRA members support. Put in context, just 16 percent of Americans want the majority’s health care bill, and yet you’ve attempted to pass (that bill) three times in the past two months. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans want background checks on gun sales, but we’ve not had one vote.”
The 74 percent figure is based on a 2013 poll of 169 NRA members. Politifact has found the figure to be accurate, but it’s hotly contested.
Kelly said because of congressional inaction, more than 100 people were shot and 10 others killed in Chicago during the Fourth of July weekend. “Over 100 Americans shot in one weekend in one city, and still we do nothing,” she said, before reading the names of the 50 children.
“There is literally nothing stopping us from acting except the NRA’s money and the greed of GOP leadership,” Kelly wrote in an op-ed for Time magazine last month.
“Now, I know that some will call this a stunt. FOX News will question my patriotism; I’ll be attacked by snowflake #OathKeepers on Twitter. And yes, I’ll get death threats because I dared to talk about gun safety legislation that will save lives. Still others will claim that I broke the rules and breached protocol. To them, I say: ‘To hell with the rules, kids are dying,’” she said.