On Wednesday, Congress will hear testimony from survivors of the mass shootings at Buffalo, New York and Uvalde in Texas.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hear from a number of key witnessesConcerning the May 14 shooting at Buffalo. A white supremacist gunman shot at Black shoppers in a predominantly Black neighbourhood and killed ten people in the attack. The committee will also hear from survivors of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, as well as relatives of the victims. The shooting that occurred on May 24 resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.
Miah Cerrillo will be one of the witnesses. This fourth grader covered herself with blood from a classmate to hide her identity from the shooter.
“We were saying maybe it would be too difficult” for her to participate, said Rep.Carolyn MaloneyChair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, (D-New York). “But she felt strongly and her parents supported her wish that she be able to testify and tell her story.”
Those who are testifying “have endured pain and loss,” Maloney said in her opening statement.
“Yet they are displaying incredible courage by coming here to ask us to do our jobs,” Maloney continued. “Let us hear their voices. Let us remember their courage. And let us find the same courage to pass common sense laws to protect our children.”
In addition to highlighting the experiences of people who have been impacted by mass shootings, the hearing is set to “examine the urgent need for Congress to pass common sense legislation that a majority of Americans support,” Maloney said, including proposals like expanding background checks and enacting an assault weapons ban. These measures will not pass Congress, however, because they are likely to be blocked by the Senate’s Republicans.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the “upper house” Is currently negotiating a bill to address gun abuse. But instead of a weapons ban or an expansion of background checks, their proposal will likely focus on expanding so-called “red flag” laws, strengthening mental health services across the U.S., and providing funding to schools to increase security measures.
The Uvalde shooting took place approximately two weeks ago more than 700 people have been shot and killed in the United States. Mass shootings are a factor in some of these deaths. 730 people have been killed by 650 different incidents.