Uvalde and Where We are in Oregon

By KC Hanson
Chair, Democratic Party of Oregon

It’s been more than 3 days since the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary, and my search for words has been futile. The repetitive expression of sorrow for yet another murder spree – especially one that has targeted so many wonderful kids – is painfully insufficient. That this killing comes on the heels of the horrific murders in Buffalo is just throttling.

But our Multnomah Dems colleague, Chair Julio Castilleja, speaks with perfect pitch. Ultimately, it is all about how we can channel our grief and anger into actions that confront and correct the madness of our overly weaponized culture. I yield the floor to Julio…

Like all of you, we are horrified and angered about the bloodshed that occurred Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Our hearts go out to the families that lost loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough. To prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again, we must all take action now.

At the federal level, the Senate must hold an immediate vote on HR8. The House passed this universal background check bill two years ago, but Republican Senators have refused to act. (Every single member of Oregon’s Democratic House delegation sponsored and voted for HR 8. Senators Wyden and Merkley sponsored HR 8’s companion bill when it came to the Senate. Predictably, GOP Congressman Cliff Bentz voted against HR 8.)

In Oregon we’ve done a lot of important things to make our communities safer. Everytown for Gun Safety currently ranks Oregon #11 in “Gun Law Strength” thanks to legislation like background checks on all gun sales (2015) and the extreme risk law that can temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns (2017).

However, there is still plenty of work to be done in our home state where 544 Oregonians die by guns every year (on average)…

…It’s clear that the midterm elections will matter at every level. Republicans and the NRA have worked hard to infiltrate local government and state legislatures, so we must work even harder to get out the vote and push for candidates who will fight for sensible gun laws and keep our children safe.

We are not giving up, and we hope you aren’t either.

Julio Castilleja, Multnomah Democrats Chair

Thanks to Julio for expressing our universal commitment to supporting our dedicated Democratic officials who are working hard to protect ALL our families.