Capt. Mark Kelly Statement on the Confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the Next U.S. Surgeon General

December 15, 2014 –

”Tonight, the United States Senate did the responsible thing: It stood up to the gun lobby, stood up for common sense, and voted to ensure that the United States has a qualified medical professional as its top doctor.

”While it’s great to the Senate has finally acted, this vote was long overdue. It’s a shame that Dr. Murthy’s nomination was held up for so many months simply because he had evaluated the data and stated the obvious: gun violence is a public health risk.

”We are grateful to the thousands of Americans for Responsible Solutions supporters who contacted their Senator to say how important it is that our nation has a Surgeon General in place, and to urge their Senator to stand up to the gun lobby and vote to confirm Dr. Murthy.”

Captain Mark Kelly & Virginia Veterans for Responsible Solutions Applaud Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Proposal to Make Virginians Safer from Gun Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, and Virginia members of Veterans for Responsible Solutions today applauded Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s new proposal to make Virginians safer from gun violence.

“While Congress fails to act to reduce gun violence, leaders at the state level are working hard to help make their communities safer. These commonsense proposals are just the latest example of efforts by legislators and governors to keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people. These proposals, were they to become law, would save lives,”said Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“As someone who became experienced with firearms and defended the Constitution in the U.S. military, I believe that our rights must be exercised with great responsibility. That responsibility means we make sure guns do not end up in the hands of dangerous people. That’s why I applaud Governor McAuliffe for his proposal to make Virginians safer from gun violence,” said Rear Admiral James Barnett – United States Navy (Ret.).

“There is a line that cannot be crossed, and it’s when our most vulnerable populations are confronted by people who really should not have a firearm in their hands due to their inability to make appropriate judgments and to their history of demonstrated violence. Governor McAuliffe took a bold step today when he announced his effort to get responsible pieces of gun legislation on the books in Virginia. As an instructor on workplace violence prevention and a retired Captain in the United States Coast Guard, I know that keeping guns away from dangerous people can make our communities safer,” said Captain Gail Kulisch – United States Coast Guard (Ret.).

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Gabby and Mark’s Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School

”Two years ago, Americans began to hear the news: 20 children and six of their teachers had been brutally gunned down in their classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In an instant, the lives of 26 families were changed forever. In the ensuing days, we heard stories of courage and bravery, but mostly, there was a lot of unspeakable heartbreak.

”Some days later, we had the opportunity to spend time with some parents of the victims. It is impossible to describe the enormity of their grief and pain. And we know it will never really go away.

”After the tragedy, many politicians in Washington said how outraged they were, how sorry they were, and how they would honor those 20 beautiful children by making everyone else’s safer. But then Congress did something truly remarkable: nothing.

”While states around the country from Connecticut to Washington have made great strides in protecting our communities from the threats of gun violence, Congress has refused to act. We have seen dysfunction drown out common sense – and we have seen that Congress remains in the gun lobby’s grip. We are deeply disappointed, but remain as determined as ever.

”We founded Americans for Responsible Solutions because Americans deserve better than words and broken promises – they deserve action. Americans deserve common sense and elected leaders who will stand up to the powerful special interests fighting to make it easier for criminals, stalkers and the dangerously mentally ill to access guns.

”While we know the hearts of the families of the 26 people who died in Newtown will never be fully repaired, we must continue to honor those who were lost on that clear December day by building the lasting legacy that they were never given the opportunity to create. We will never forget Sandy Hook.”

Capt. Mark Kelly’s Statement on the Need for the Senate to Confirm Surgeon General Nominee Vivek Murthy

December 13, 2014 –

”It is time for the United States Senate to do the responsible thing and vote to ensure our country has a Surgeon General. The main reason we have gone so long without one is that nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy – an experienced medical professional – evaluated the data and stated the obvious: gun violence poses a significant threat to the public health.

”Acknowledging that gun violence is a public health threat is neither controversial nor an affront to the rights of those of us who responsibly own guns; it is simply an observation based on abundantly available and overwhelming evidence. It is a shame that the Surgeon General nomination has been held up by nothing more than willful misinformation. We hope that the United States Senate will stand up to the gun lobby, stand up for common sense, and vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as our nation’s next Surgeon General.”

Captain Mark Kelly Statement on Increased Funding for the Background Checks System in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill

TUCSON, AZ – Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the following statement today on the $73 million included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 83) to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by helping states improve records submissions. The funding in the FY 2015 bill represents a $14.5 million increase in funding from FY 2014 levels. Earlier this year, Americans for Responsible Solutions worked to craft and pass a bipartisan amendment cosponsored by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) that passed with the support of more than 75 House Republicans. Capt. Kelly’s statement:

“Our national background check system for gun sales is only as good as the records of the dangerous people that it contains. That’s why it’s good news that leaders from both sides of the aisle have come together to provide states with the money they need to ensure that convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill can’t access guns. Members of Congress of all political stripes should come together to support this funding.

“This increased investment in our background check system is badly needed. This year, the U.S. Department of Justice has received more than $78 million in requests for NICS improvement funding, but couldn’t fund a whole quarter of projected need. The additional funding in this bipartisan funding bill will help fill that gap by providing additional funds to meet demand from states, get additional records of dangerous people into our gun background checks system, and save lives. This is another important step in the right direction on the heels of the bipartisan Thompson-King amendment that increased funding for background checks and was approved overwhelmingly by the House earlier this year.”

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