Rep. Taylor’s Statement on the 19th Anniversary of the Columbine Massacre

National Walk Out Day: A Day of Community and Unity

MADISON- On the 19th Anniversary of the Columbine Massacre, which left 13 innocent people dead at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) issued the following statement: 

“Today, I join millions of Americans in grieving for the lives lost, the families devastated, and a community shattered by the tragedy at Columbine High School 19 years ago. I also join millions of Americans, including teachers, staff, students, parents and advocates in calling for real, meaningful gun safety policies to prevent these horrible acts of violence from occurring.

Unfortunately, Republican policy makers who are in control in Madison and Washington, D.C. have refused to step up and responsibly address this epidemic of gun violence. Instead, they have told our children to step up. And our children have stepped up. They’ve hidden under desks since the time they were in kindergarten. They’ve been quiet in their assigned “safe place” they go during a Code Red drill so, as my 7 year old son has said, a “bad guy” won’t get them. 

Instead of Republican policy makers who are in control in Madison and Washington, D.C. stepping up, they have told our teachers and staff to step up by learning how to fend off armed classroom intruders and becoming human shields to protect their students. And our teachers and school staff have done so, many paying with their lives. And we honor them and we remember them today.

Instead of Republican policy makers who are in control in Madison and Washington, D.C. stepping up, they have told our schools to step up by hardening their facilities. Now it’s our schools’ responsibility to apply for a grant that they may or may not get to build a fortress, rather than providing the behavioral health interventions that we know could make a difference. Our schools, like our teachers and staff, like our children, have stepped up.  

Everyone has acted and done their part, but Republican policy makers in charge in Madison and Washington, D.C. They refuse to consider what the research very clearly shows is the most effective way to prevent gun injuries and deaths—preventing individuals who will do harm from getting access to deadly firearms in the first place. They have refused to pass the most basic, yet most effective policies to keep not just our schools safe, but our communities safe, including universal background checks, a ban on bump stocks and limits on magazine capacity of deadly firearms. These policy makers have turned their backs on our children. 

Today, I join educators, staff, students, parents and advocates in saying ‘enough is enough.’”