Representative for California’s 24th congressional district Lois Capps addressed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, speaking about the violent mass murder in Isla Vista last Friday before requesting a moment of silence to commemorate the lives of the six UCSB students killed and 13 wounded.
A UCSB alumna, Capps addressed the Speaker of the House with a “heavy heart,” and said the rampage last week had unsettled communities reaching far beyond Isla Vista. She described her communication with those close to the tragedy as “making sense of the senseless,” and the beginning of a “long journey.”
Capps thanked the people who have offered support and kindness in the past few days.
“This act was fueled by hate,” Capps said. “But in the wake of this tragedy, we as a nation have shown that, in a dark time, we do not walk alone. We do not grieve alone. And we will not have to heal alone.”
Capps concluded her statement by voicing a pledge to try to “prevent this sort of tragedy in the future,” naming each of the deceased victims, and asking the House to join in a moment of silence for “all who mourn in the wake of this senseless tragedy.”
According to Capps’ press secretary Chris Meagher, the congresswoman is currently working to “explore the intersection of mental health and gun control,” including how to “close the gaps in the system.”
“She is looking at what we can do to address where the system failed, particularly looking at the communication between mental health professions and law enforcement, and how to best prevent this type of tragedy in the future,” Meagher said in an email.
Meagher said Capps will meet with “a variety of stakeholders” in the following months to better understand and come to an agreement of how to “address the current shortfalls in our system.” Capps will continue to speak on this situation in the next few days, according to Meagher.
A version of this article appeared on page 10 of the Thursday, May 29 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.