Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) issued the following statement March 13 in support of the National School Walkout:
“Enough is enough. One month since the latest mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., I stand in solidarity with students across the country in calling on Congress to pass common-sense gun safety laws like an assault weapon ban and universal background checks.
“While California already has among the strongest gun safety laws in the country, we still have much work to do. I am working with Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to reintroduce a bill (AB 1014) to allow school employees, co-workers, supervisors and others to petition for gun violence restraining orders. This would allow the courts take away guns from the mentally ill and others who should not possess such dangerous weapons.”
Other Asian Pacific American elected officials expressed their support for the students and for gun control:
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “I’m standing in solidarity with students across America today who are demanding action on gun violence. I’m so inspired by their courage and persistence.”
Hawaii Gov. David Ige: “I will be walking out with students this morning to honor the 17 victims of gun violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Mahalo to our students for raising their voices and leading the national conversation on school safety. Hawaii has among the strictest gun laws in the nation, and I will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure school safety.”
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.): “Across the country, students are walking out of schools because they‘re tired of feeling unsafe in classrooms. They’re walking out because they refuse to accept school shootings as the new normal. I’m motivated by their action …
“I spoke with students, teachers, and gun violence survivors outside of the U.S. Capitol today. They are here to demand their elected leaders work together to help end gun violence. It’s time for action.”
Regarding President Trump’s recent gun proposal, Murphy commented, “It simply doesn’t go far enough to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous individuals. To honor past victims and prevent future victims, we must do better.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “It doesn’t matter how old you are — every American has a voice. It’s inspiring to see young Illinoisans say enough is enough and fight for what they believe in.”
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “Students marched today to the Capitol to show their support for #GunSafetyNow. Honored and moved to have witnessed so many students demanding action. It’s time to pass gun safety legislation that provides safety to students.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “So proud of our Washington State high school students! We hear you and are following your lead. Together we will build a better and safer future.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said on March 13, “Seven thousand shoes are lined along the U.S. Capitol today representing every child lost due to gun violence since the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. We cannot wait for another tragedy for Congress to take action.
“It’s time to put politics aside, and pass common-sense gun safety legislation that is already supported by both Republicans and Democrats, and the majority of Americans — like closing the gun show and online loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons and bump stocks, and requiring background checks on anyone seeking to purchase a gun. These are actions that Congress can and should take right now.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) released the following statement on March 12 in response to the Trump Administration’s proposal to offer “rigorous firearms training” to teachers. The proposal comes just four months after House Republicans advanced a Higher Education Act reauthorization bill that eliminates funding for teacher training and loan forgiveness programs that help recruit and support educators.
“The Trump Administration’s proposal to offer ‘rigorous firearms training’ to schoolteachers is absurd and terrifying. After 24 years as a public school teacher, I am stunned that anyone could think that bringing guns into the classroom is a reasonable solution to any problem.
“This proposal is even more outrageous in the context of the recent House Republican plan to eliminate the teacher training and loan forgiveness programs created through the Higher Education Act. The GOP plan, which advanced on a party-line vote through the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, eliminates the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program, TEACH grants, and a key loan forgiveness program that is helping to address the nationwide teacher shortage. Cutting programs that recruit and support talented educators while investing in firearms training is an astonishing statement of priorities.
“The Republican platform on education appears to be that we should start training teachers to fire weapons and stop training them to teach students.”