RepDonnaEdwards1

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards

Bookended by mass shootings at universities in Oregon and Texas, U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards read the names of Marylanders who have lost their lives to gun violence in 2015 on the floor of the House Oct. 7, urging Congress to pass commonsense gun laws.

“In just this year alone, Maryland has lost 301 lives to gun violence. That’s 301 families who have lost a mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter,” Edwards told her colleagues in her opening remarks. “Those families will never forget the loved ones that they’ve lost, and neither should this body. Today, I’m going to read their names aloud, and I urge my colleagues to listen, stand up, take on the National Rifle Association, and stop the flood of gun violence that is ravaging our communities in Maryland and across our country.”

The Maryland Democrat then proceeded to read the over 300 hundred names in the more than five-minute speech, until the speaker warned that her time was up, a video of her remarks showed.

Raising her voice to be heard over those warnings, Edwards ended her speech in an impassioned plea: “It’s time to end the violence. It’s time to end the silence. It’s time for this Congress to do something!”

Bipartisan, White House-backed legislation to expand background checks for those attempting to buy firearms and ammunition in the wake of mass shootings at Virginia Tech in April 2007; at  a supermarket parking lot in Tuscon, Ariz., in January 2011; at a theater in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012; and, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., in December 2012, has been blocked in Congress.

An Oct. 1 shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., that left 10 people dead and seven wounded and another at Texas Southern University on Oct. 9, continue to point to the need for gun reform, safety advocates say.