“The nation has witnessed senseless loss of life from recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. These tragedies demand thoughtful, considered action from our local, state and federal leaders - and from ordinary citizens. Too often, once the initial headlines of a tragedy fade, the national conversation moves on without giving these issues the full attention they merit.
“Many of my Senate colleagues have proposals that touch on different aspects of this debate. These issues involve constitutional rights and deeply held beliefs – but that is not an excuse to shy away from a serious, fact-based, and thorough national discussion which will potentially lead to remedial legislation. This will require courage and a willingness from all sides to find areas of consensus, instead of retreating to partisan corners. I am determined to be a constructive voice in that endeavor.
“In addition to policy solutions, we must vocally reassert our commitment to the principle of racial equality. Vile acts and words of white supremacy have once again torn at the heart of the American spirit. This cannot be met with silence from leaders of any kind. In our homes, churches, businesses and public places, we must testify that every person, regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin, and orientation is equal in the eyes of our Creator.”