Washington, D.C.  Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) delivered powerful remarks in the House Judiciary Committee Markup of the Protect Our Kids Act. Her full remarks are available as prepared for delivery below.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“We are paying for gun violence, every day.

We are paying for the weapons of war on our streets with the blood of children sitting in our schools.

We are paying for unfettered gun access with mothers and fathers waiting in line for a DNA test, forced to find out if it is their child riddled with bullets and maimed beyond recognition. 

We are paying for this deadly gun culture with the lives of the American people. With the lives of those who we in this room are sworn to protect.

Do we have the courage, right here in this body? To imagine the phone call parents across Uvalde received last week. The phone call that confirms our fear; our singular fear; that my child is dead, and that I was unable to protect them. 

Because I know that phone call. Parents across the country know that phone call. It is a sucker punch to the stomach. A phone call that brings you to your knees when the desperation will not let you stand, that leaves you gasping for air when the agony will not let you breathe. 

And for days and months and years after, you cry out to God in your grief.

Was my child afraid? Did he feel pain as the bullets ripped through his skin? How long did it take him to die? Was it quick, or did he suffer?

My son, Jordan, was just 17 years old when he was shot by a man with a gun who didn’t like the loud music they were playing.

I had dreamed of who he would become, I had dreamed of watching him walk at his High School graduation, filled with excitement for college, hope for his future, and dreams for the world that only a teenager can have. 

The same racially motivated violence that took my son, that murdered 10 Black Americans in Buffalo, is being replayed with casual callousness and despicable frequency. 

Since last week, when 19 children were gunned down at their desks, we have lost over 700 Americans to gun violence. 

Last night, 4 Americans were murdered as they worked. Murdered while they tried to mend. Murdered while they tried to keep families whole.

Are we okay with this as a nation? Is this the status quo we accept? 

What rights do we give our children as we bring them into this world? 

What rights has God given them as they grow in our homes and in our hearts?

Do they enjoy the right to study in our schools without fear of massacre?

Do our children have the right to live free from the trauma that only stepping over a friend covered in blood could ever bring?

Do parents enjoy the right to drop their kid off at school and expect to see them come home?

Do we, as a nation, have the God given right to live free from this scourge of gun violence, of senseless suffering, of death and despair?

Because we cannot keep doing this. An entire generation of children is learning that the adults they look up to cannot, or will not, protect them. We all agree that the status quo is unacceptable. We all understand that the murder of our children cannot continue.

And we have solutions a majority of the American people believe in. They are common sense compromises that will keep American children alive. Solutions to Protect Our Kids, to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, and to stop our neighbors from being slaughtered in our schools, in our churches, and in our supermarkets.

Throughout this nation’s history, our elected leaders have risen to the task, and we have the opportunity right now, as a nation, to come together and address this moment.

Because this is the time. This is our moment. We are facing the challenge of our lifetime and the issue of our era. And we must summon the courage to do what is right. The courage to Protect our Kids. To protect the future of America.”