House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has penned a letter to Speaker John Boehner demanding that he establish a committee to research U.S. mass shootings. The Democratic Rep. of California is also calling for the House to pass a bipartisan bill that will ensure more comprehensive background checks for gun buyers.
According to the Huffington Post, Pelosi’s letter was delivered to Boehner on Friday, Oct. 2, following the Umpqua Community College mass shooting. A lone gunman killed nine people at the Oregon college, prompting President Barack Obama to lament that mass shooting has become “routine” in the U.S., CNN reports.
"The epidemic of gun violence in our country challenges the conscience of our nation," Pelosi writes. "As we pray for those who lost their loved ones at Umpqua Community College, we must address the tidal wave of grief guns have caused to so many families.”
Pelosi told Boehner that she wants a special committee that will prescribe “common sense legislation” within 60 days, a deadline symbolically set before the third anniversary of the Newtown shootings in 2012.
““How can we in good conscience engage in moments of silence to honor these victims of gun violence, if we refuse to take action,” Pelosi writes, according to MSNBC. “We take a solemn oath to protect and defend the American people. We must not accept the horror of gun violence as routine.”
The Hill reports that Pelosi also wants the House to pass bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Mike Thompson (D-California) and Peter King (R-New York), which would expand background checks.
MSNBC reports that special committees opened up by the House are currently a sensitive issue in American politics, with two separate special committees currently investigating the Benghazi attack in 2012 and Planned Parenthood.
Two congressman currently vying for Boehner’s position as House Speaker are Kevin McCarthy of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah. McCarthy was blasted by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers after indicating that the Benghazi committee was intentionally opened to embarrass presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Chaffetz is currently leading the investigation into Planned Parenthood and has received criticism by fellow congressmen for attacking the salary of the organization’s CEO Cecile Richards, according to MSNBC.
The Huffington Post reports that there has been 45 mass shootings in U.S. schools during 2015.