Washington, D.C., October 4, 2021 - Today, Brady announces the launch of a new campaign, the #FilibusterIsKillingUs, with two, new videos featuring the testimony of gun violence survivors calling on the U.S. Senate to eliminate the filibuster to pass needed, live-saving gun violence prevention legislation. In the past four Congresses, the filibuster has stopped life-saving and common-sense legislation such as expanded and strengthened background checks from passing the Senate, creating a chilling effect on such legislation even as these policies attract overwhelming support from the American public, including majorities of both parties. In fact, the latest polls show that nearly 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks, yet a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2021 has not yet received a vote in the Senate, as it is dubious it could overcome the 60 vote threshold.
Brady is calling on the Senate to eliminate this outmoded feature of the Senate rules to pass gun violence prevention. Every day these bills are not passed 100 people die from gun violence in our country. The filibuster is killing us.
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Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“For years, activists and elected officials across the country have worked tirelessly to pass life-saving laws at the local and state level - laws that have saved lives. Sadly, the same cannot be said for our federal government, where the U.S. Senate’s 60-vote threshold has stopped progress and the passage of common-sense bipartisan legislation that would keep firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them and help keep our communities safe. Particularly against the backdrop of the worst increase in gun violence and homicides in a generation, the Senate cannot be held hostage by this institutional rule. Change and progress cannot be denied because of parliamentary procedure. Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut and subsequent failure to pass a compromise gun violence prevention bill because of the filibuster, over 261,361 Americans have died from gun violence. 100 people die from this preventable, public health crisis every day. We have the tools to save lives and combat this epidemic. We just need the leadership to ensure they pass.
There can be principled opposition to change, certainly. But, there can be no question that the filibuster is killing us. We cannot allow an outmoded institutional quirk to stop change that will save lives. If our government is not capable of mustering itself to make such a slight change in the name of stopping violence, frankly what is it capable of doing?”
The video advertisement that Brady is launching today features the testimony of three gun violence survivors and Brady leaders, calling on the senate to pass life-saving gun violence prevention legislation.
In the advertisement, Brady Vice President of Policy and gun violence survivor Christian Heyne shared:
“We know first hand why we don’t have any time to waste...we have bipartisan solutions that the majority of Americans agree would save lives. The filibuster is killing us...We need to take action; we need to take it now. We do not have a moment to waste.”
In the advertisement, Brady Vice President of Development and gun violence survivor Liz Dunning shared:
“This issue is personal...we know that the filibuster is the barrier to a majority vote and action on gun violence...our elected officials were hired to work for the people, and we the people want action. The filibuster is killing us.”
In the advertisement, Brady Vice President of Organizing and gun violence survivor Maisha Fields shared:
“Right now there is legislation in the senate that could save lives...everyday that we delay, Americans lose their lives to something that you have the power to prevent. The filibuster is killing us.”
About The #FilibusterIsKilling Us:
Gun violence in America is a national emergency. The only thing standing in the way of saving lives is the filibuster. If the Senate were to take up legislation to prevent gun violence tomorrow its fate could be sealed before a single vote is cast because even though 51 Senators make up a majority, the current rules require that 60 Senators agree to even vote on a bill. This arcane rule is known as the “procedural filibuster” and it has been used to block critical progress throughout American history, from civil rights to life-saving gun violence prevention policies.
Gun violence is the second leading cause of death for young people in America, and the leading cause of death for Black children and teens. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans are needlessly killed because of Congress’ inability to pass meaningful laws to prevent gun violence. NRA-backed members of Congress continue to use the procedural filibuster to block solutions to end bloodshed — like universal background checks on gun sales, a federal ban on assault weapons, funding for community-based violence intervention programs, and more. These are common-sense solutions supported by the majority of Americans, including gun owners.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.