POLITICS

Nancy Pelosi Calls For A Select Committee On Gun Violence

She said Congress takes "a solemn oath to protect and defend the American people."
Candles are lit at a vigil for those killed at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1, 2015.
Candles are lit at a vigil for those killed at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1, 2015.

WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants Congress to establish a Select Committee on Gun Violence in the wake of the Oregon college shooting that left 10 dead on Thursday.

There's already a Select Committee on Benghazi, and there will likely be one to investigate Planned Parenthood. On Friday, Pelosi called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to create a committee to investigate the "crisis" of mass shootings.

"The epidemic of gun violence in our country challenges the conscience of our nation," Pelosi wrote to Boehner. "As we pray for those who lost their loved ones at Umpqua Community College, we must address the tidal wave of grief guns have caused to so many families."

In her letter, Pelosi challenged the common response from politicians when confronted with questions about what should be done to stop gun violence.

"As Members of Congress, how can we in good conscience engage in moments of silence to honor these victims of gun violence, if we refuse to take action? We take a solemn oath to protect and defend the American people," she wrote. "We must not accept the horror of gun violence as routine."

Pelosi said the House should first pass a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.), which would expand existing background checks to cover all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the Internet or in classified ads.

"But we should not stop there," she wrote the speaker. "I urge you to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence to confront this crisis and report back common sense legislation to help end it. The bipartisan committee would be charged to present its recommendations to the House within 60 days -- in time for a vote before the third anniversary of the Newtown shooting this year."   

Thursday's attack by the lone gunman on Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon, came nearly four months after a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine people dead. In 2015 alone, there have been 45 mass shootings at schools. 

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