New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called on Congress to “end gun violence and protect the lives of Americans” during his testimony to members of the U.S.
For the second day in a row, members of Congress heard emotional testimony from someone personally scarred by the mass shooting at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo.
This time, a mother of a shooting victim pleaded with lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee to do something about gun violence.
“You are elected because you have been chosen and are trusted to protect us. But let me say to you here today, I do not feel protected,” said Zeneta Everhart, mother of Zaire Goodman.
Though Goodman survived, his wounds are still fresh, as Everhart explained in detail.
“To the lawmakers who feel that we do not need stricter gun laws, let me paint a picture for you. My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back, and another on his left leg,” she said.
Everhart testified at a hearing on the scourge of gun violence. Victims of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting also spoke, including an 11-year-old who played dead by smearing herself with the blood of her dead friend.
The committee’s chairwoman, Democrat Carolyn Maloney of New York, said the message was clear: Congress must act.
In her opening statement, she took aim at Republicans on the panel, who repeatedly brought up concerns about infringing on second amendment rights.
“They have blamed violent video games. They have blamed family values. They have even blamed open doors. They have blamed everything but guns,” Maloney said.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was also in D.C. for the hearing. In his testimony, he urged Congress to ban or at least more closely regulate semi-automatic weapons and to pass what he called “commonsense” gun reforms.
“It is high noon in America. Time for every one of us to decide where we stand on the issue of gun violence,” he said.
Amidst a rise in violence in his own city, he also slammed the flow of guns into New York through something known as the iron pipeline.
“Many of the guns that we’re witnessing are purchased or stolen from outside our state,” he said.
Asked by a Georgia Republican about why New York police still have to retrieve so many guns off the city’s streets despite the city’s strict gun laws, Adams pushed back: “Many of them come from Georgia.”
Over in the Senate, a bipartisan group continues to negotiate a possible gun deal.
Negotiations are focused on things like red flag laws and enhanced gun background checks, meaning that if a deal is reached, it is likely going to fall short of what Adams and Everhart are pushing for.
On that possibility, Adams said, “There are many rivers that feed the sea of violence, and we have to dam each river.”