Senator Cantwell speaks in support of nationwide school walkouts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Maria Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday in solidarity with students who are taking part in the nationwide school walkouts in support of reforms to combat gun violence.

Her full remarks are below:

Mr. President, today in every corner of our country and across my state, Washington, countless students are taking part in a walkout in common support of reforms to combat gun violence. I stand in solidarity with these students who are trying to provide an example of why we must make progress on this issue. No student should fear for their life while attending school, and I will continue to work on solutions here to curb gun violence. We in Washington [state] have been able to make progress by passing initiatives to close gun show loopholes and to move forward on extreme [protection] legislation. I should say that was passed by the citizens of our state. 

We should look at the example of Washington's initiatives and the success we've made in our state in curbing gun violence as commonsense solutions that should be considered here in Washington, D.C. 

When we look at these issues, I’m reminded of the tragic shootings in our state. Sam Strahan from Spokane who was killed and individuals who were killed in Washington at Marysville shooting when Jaylen Fryberg, just 15 years old, opened fire, killing Gia Soriano, Andrew Fryberg, Zoe Galasso, [and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit], and wounding Nathan Hatch. 

These tragedies are more than we can take at our schools. These tragedies are something that we need to address here in Washington. And I stand with the solidarity of our students who are trying to address these issues and address our nation's need to come together and provide better solutions to protect our students…

…I omitted one of the names of the shooting victims in the Marysville shooting. We are still heartbroken about this shooting in the sense it's an example of the challenges we face. A young man who took his father's gun who never should have had the gun to begin with because he was on a domestic violence restraining order, but yet was still able to go to a store and get the gun, keep the gun in the home, and then when the young student was able to take that to school and gather his friends, but Shaylee Chuckulnaskit was also one of those victims along with Zoe Galasso and Andrew Fryberg and Gia, who I mentioned before. I just want all of those families to know that we still think of them, and that we are still mourning the loss of those individuals, and that we are working very hard with our colleagues to come to some resolution. Thank you and I yield the floor.