Rep. Melissa Shusterman, August 6, 2019 | 1:09 PM
PAOLI, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, is one of several House Democrats urging Gov. Tom Wolf to call a special joint session of the legislature to address gun violence and extremism in the wake of two mass shootings within 13 hours of each other last weekend.
Shusterman, accompanied by members of the PA SAFE Caucus, called for a special session to consider legislation in the House and Senate that would address access to guns for people at risk of violence to themselves or others, close the loophole for gun background checks, and to ban assault weapons.
“We cannot afford another preventable tragedy in our own backyard. What happened in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio can be avoided here in Pennsylvania, so instead of wallowing in this seemingly never-ending cycle of tragedy, let’s end it,” Shusterman said. “We can go into session right now and pass legislation that would make it more difficult to put guns in these people’s hands.”
Shusterman and members of the PA SAFE Caucus noted that most public opinion polls reveal that the most Americans support mandatory background checks on gun purchases, as well as other safety legislation.
“When two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history happen within the same news cycle you know our nation is in a dark place. It is clear that we as a society have become numb to such events,” Shusterman said. “I’ve heard the cliché ‘tragedies show us the best humanity has to offer’ regarding these shootings, and it’s starting to unnerve me. It seems to be part of the script following every mass shooting. It seems to be a way to minimize the terror of the actual shooting and instead put the focus on the recovery that should never have been necessary.
“My colleagues and I have over 25 pieces of legislation that have not been passed out of committee that could put Pennsylvanians’ safety before an industry’s profits. The time is now to put an end to these hateful acts of violence. I urge our leaders to call the legislature to Harrisburg and not stand idly by.”
Shusterman encourages her constituents to call the majority chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Rob Kauffman, at (717) 705-2004 and ask him to schedule hearings on gun violence prevention legislation, and to call House Speaker Mike Turzai at (717) 772-9943.