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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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“Their Abusers Took Their Lives, This Congress Ignores the Problem but I Won’t Forget Their Names”

Sep 13, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly again took to the House floor demanding a vote on bipartisan gun safety legislation to save American lives.

In today’s speech, Congresswoman Kelly remembered domestic violence victims killed by their abusers using firearms. Her speech comes days after the murder of Meredith Hight and seven friends by her estranged husband during an NFL watch party. Her speech is available here.

According to a recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all murdered American women are killed by their partner or ex-partner. The weapon of choice for these abusers is firearms.

“Every day, three women are killed by their abusers, largely with guns, yet this Congress refuses to act on common sense legislation that could save lives,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “Right now, convicted stalkers can still legally purchase firearms in 29 states. We know that stalking always escalates, often to violence and still we do nothing to protect these women and their families.”

During the heartbreaking speech, the Congresswoman read the words of a caller to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: “[He] never fired the pistol, but he would sit on my chest and point it at my head. He would put it right next to my temple.”

When victims tell their stories, the NRA demonizes them for politicizing domestic violence. The NRA wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders: “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.”

To date, Congresswoman Kelly has read the names of 150 gun violence victims into the Congressional record, less than three percent of the 5,950 names she pledged to read: one for every dollar Speaker Ryan took from the NRA. The Congresswoman pledged to continue reading names until the Speaker allowed votes on gun safety and jobs legislation.

“Sadly, there is no shortage of names to read into the record because of this Congress’ inaction,” added Congresswoman Kelly.

Congresswoman Kelly ended the speech by simply saying, “we failed these women and their families.”

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