Democratic Congressman Boycotts Moment Of Silence After Las Vegas Massacre

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Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington in 2015. (Molly Riley/AP file)
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. (Molly Riley/AP file)

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre that claimed the lives of at least 59 people, Democratic members of Congress are calling for new gun control laws. One of them is Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who boycotted the moment of silence on the House floor Monday, tweeting that it was "an excuse for inaction."

Here & Now's Robin Young talks with Moulton (@sethmoulton) about his decision and what he'd like to see happen now in Congress.

Interview Highlights

On choosing to boycott the moment of silence

"I started hearing from the victims and their families, and people who said we've got to do more, we've got to do something about this to prevent it from happening again."

On gun violence from a veteran's perspective

"I'm someone who's seen firsthand the effects of gun violence. I've had to carry a gun to do my job in the war. And I know as well as anyone that this violence has no place on our streets, in our schools, in our concerts, so we've got to do something about it. And too often I think these moments of silence are excuses for inaction in Congress."

On action he hopes Congress will take

"There's enormous evidence that having universal background checks for gun purchases, which is something that nine out of 10 Americans support, that reduces gun violence.

"It's common sense that if you're too dangerous to get on a plane you shouldn't be able to buy a gun. And that's why I have a bipartisan bill that will prevent terrorists from buying guns."

On universal background checks

"Right now there are loopholes so that you have to go through a background check if you go through a gun dealer, but not if you get it at a gun show. This is just common-sense stuff to prevent people who have mental illnesses or criminal records from getting guns. And it's been shown time and time again to reduce gun violence. Whether or not it would have eliminated this particular tragedy is not the issue here. This is a problem that happens time and time again across this country. And so there's no single solution that will prevent every gun massacre. But there are a lot of things we can do to make them less likely and less deadly."

This article was originally published on October 03, 2017.

This segment aired on October 3, 2017.



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