Just before President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in an attempt to gain access to billions of dollars for his border wall, a Democratic congresswoman who lost her son in a fatal shooting called gun violence the real crisis.
“In my mind, there really is a national emergency,” Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) told CNN on Friday. “People continue to die every single day. We know that we’ve got over 100 people in this country that die unnecessarily to gun violence every single day. That is a public health crisis. That is a national emergency ― not a wall.”
McBath, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, faced tragedy in 2012 when her teenage son Jordan was gunned down at a Florida gas station. Saturday would have been his 24th birthday.
Asked whether she would back a national emergency declaration on gun violence, McBath didn’t reject the idea, but said she would want it to go through “the proper channels” first.
“Most definitely I would want it to go through Congress. Let’s make sure that all the checks and balances are put in place. Let’s make sure that democracy works the way that it is supposed to.”
On Wednesday, the day before the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the House Judiciary Committee approved two proposals to strengthen background checks for gun purchases. McBath called it “surreal” and “bittersweet.” However, the legislation is highly unlikely to pass the Senate.