Jacobs, Peters Tell Why They Voted for Background Checks
By Donald H. Harrison | San Diego Jewish World, March 11, 2021
Two San Diego members of Congress – Democrats Sara Jacobs and Scott Peters –had personal reasons for joining with the majority in the House of Representatives that passed companion gun safety measures on Thursday.
Jacobs told her colleagues that “as a millennial, I am a member of what is known as the Columbine generation, a generation that grew up in the shadow of gun violence and school shootings. When violence came to our Capitol on January 6, congressional staffers barricaded themselves into a conference room and hid under furniture because it’s what they learned to do in years of active shooter drills.”
She said by voting for HR 8 and HR 1446 she intended “to honor the young people who called us here to act. From Steele Canyon to Bonita Vista, students in San Diego have organized and protested and marched for their lives. I have been so inspired by them and by young Americans across the country who have fundamentally changed the conversation on gun violence.”
One measure approved by the House of Representatives requires background checks be completed before any gun is transferred from one owner to another. The companion measure closed what was known as the “Charleston Loophole” which allowed a gun to be transferred without a background check if such a check could not be completed within three days.
Peters noted that “five years ago, I live-streamed the sit-in on the House floor after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando [Florida] to demand a vote on background checks. Since then, millions of Americans have raised their voices and demanded change. To all those who have been hurt by gun violence, lost a loved one, or fought tirelessly with us: today’s vote is for you. I urge my colleagues in the other Chamber [the Senate] to take these bills up for consideration swiftly; the time for the Senate to pass these life-saving reforms is long overdue.”
Peters livestreamed the sit-in 2016 after the then-Republican leadership shut off the cameras that feed official video of the House floor. C-Span picked up Peters’ footage, winning him and the issue national attention.
A press release issued by Peters’ office said the congressman spoke on the House floor 20 times in 2015 and 2016 to read the names of gun violence victims and to call on then House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on background checks.
In 2017, according to the news release, “Peters attended Town Hall for Our Lives in San Diego following the Parkland shooting, opposed arming teachers, cosponsored legislation that bans assault weapons, and voted against extending concealed carry reciprocity, which would allow concealed carry licenses to be valid in states other that the issuing state.”
In 2019, the press release went on to say, “when former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to put the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 up for a vote in the Senate. Rep. Peters delivered over 700 letters from San Diegans to Sen. McConnell’s office about how gun violence has affected them.”
Explaining his passion, Peters commented, “While our nation has seen far too many tragedies – Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Las Vegas, Parkland – nearly 100 Americans lose their lives each day in gun-related incidents that don’t make national news. There’s no question we need universal background checks to curb the national epidemic of gun violence and to protect the lives of our kids, teachers, first responders, and civilians.”+ to view the full article, click here