Gun rights activist Lucretia Hughes testified that communities need secure schools and societal improvements rather than gun control laws in a fiery testimony Wednesday.
Hughes, a member of the DC Project — Women for Gun Rights, lost her 19-year-old son in 2016 to gun violence from a criminal with “an evil heart,” she testified. She said gun control laws will not prevent a person from obtaining a firearm illegally or save lives.
“Our gun control lobbyists and politicians claim that their policies will save lives and reduce violence. Well, those policies did not save my son. The laws being discussed are already implemented in cities across this country. We have decades of evidence proving they do not work. St. Louis, New York, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta — are gun control utopias and they are plagued with the most violence.”
Hughes said the gun control lobby has “failed the black community,” calling on Congress to allow her and other black Americans to defend themselves. She called on the citizens to be their “own first responders” as a handful of lawmakers push to defund the police. (RELATED: Biden Lays Out Slew Of Gun Control Demands, Urges Congress To Act)
“It’s a curse on the black community and everyone else’s,” she said. “Something has to change. Thoughts and prayers and calls for more gun control isn’t enough. How about letting me defend myself from evil? You don’t think that I’m capable and trustworthy to handle a firearm? You don’t think the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to people that look like me? Who, and you, who call for more gun control are the same ones that are calling to defund the police. Who is supposed to protect us? We must learn to be out own first responders to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
“I am a legal, law-abiding citizen, and I don’t need the government to save me,” she continued.
She said education, rather than stricter gun laws, is the “key to safety.” She said her organization supports the Safe Students Act, introduced by Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, which intends to repeal gun free zones in order to allow individuals to conceal carry on school grounds.
She recalled the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and 2 fourth-grade teachers. Reports found that 19 officers entered the building at 11:35 a.m. but did not breach the barricaded classroom for over an hour despite receiving several 911 calls from students. She argued gun control laws will “embolden the criminals” rather ensure Americans’ safety.
“We call on Congress to ban gun free zones, fund non-partisan firearm education programs, like Kids Safe Foundation and non-governmental mental health organizations like Hold My Guns. And in closing, I claim that nothing in these bills do anything to make us safer or address the mental health crisis in this country,” she said.
“Despite living with the heartache of losing my son on a daily basis, I believe it is our God-given right to defend ourselves from any act of violence. Making it even more difficult or even more expensive for me and people that look like me and other law abiding citizens will not make us safer. It will embolden the criminals. Gun owners are not the enemies. And these gun control policies are not the solution.”