WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of Mother’s Day, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) took to the House Floor to demand Congressional action on gun violence.  Whip Clark read from “Joaquin’s First School Shooting,'' a children’s book authored by Patricia and Manny Oliver, whose son Joaquin was murdered in the 2018 Parkland shooting. Below is a transcript of her remarks:

“Today, I rise with a heavy heart. A heart of grief. I grieve for a nation where 111 Americans are shot and killed every day. I grieve for a generation of kids growing up surrounded by violence. I think of William Cho, six-years-old, who lost his parents and his younger brother – not living in a war zone but going to a shopping mall in our country. 

“I grieve for the parents who have suffered the inconceivable pain of losing a child, a beloved family member.  Parents like Patricia and Manny Oliver, who are here with us today, whose son Joaquin was murdered alongside 16 classmates and staff in Parkland, Florida. Ahead of Mother's Day weekend, Patricia and Manny have published a children’s book. A book that illustrates the horror of America’s gun epidemic – from the perspective of its youngest victims. 

“Madam Speaker, I’d like to read from ‘Joaquin’s First School Shooting.’ May it give some pause to all of us – especially my colleagues who continue to prioritize guns over our children. 

“‘Joaquin’s First School Shooting'

‘The end of the day was also my own. Bled out on the floor, and never got home. We heard a loud bang! Then off went the alarm. My classmates freaked out, but I tried to keep calm.

“‘Out in the hall, a killer had a gun. He shot into a class, then came right for us. He took aim and fired – again, and again, and again. One life at a time, my friends met their end.

“‘He came up the stairs, hunting for more. That’s when we all panicked and ran for the door. We tried to get clear, but it was a bit late. It was his machine gun that decided our fates. Our country is numb to violence like this. Politicians don’t care, they still keep their seats. We must not forget, or I’ve died in vain. Enough is enough. Please, never again!’

“Let us remember all of the victims, and remember that this is a choice. We have solutions. We can end gun violence in this country.”

To watch the full speech, click HERE

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