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Suozzi to Bring Gun Violence Prevention Advocate to State of the Union

February 3, 2020
Press Release
Linda Beigel Schulman, who lost her son in the tragic Parkland shooting more than two years ago, will join Suozzi to highlight the Senate’s inaction to combat gun violence

Today, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) announced that his guest at this year’s State of the Union will be gun violence prevention advocate, Linda Beigel Schulman. Schulman, who is one of Suozzi’s constituents, lost her son Scott in the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School more than two years ago. Since then, she has dedicated herself to promoting common-sense gun legislation in New York State and across the United States. Suozzi and Schulman have stood together to combat this epidemic which takes the lives of more than 100 Americans per day.


“Linda has taken the tragic experience of losing a son to gun violence and become a strong advocate for common-sense gun violence prevention laws. It is an honor to have her as my guest at this year’s State of the Union,” said Suozzi. “It has been more than a year since my colleagues and I in the House passed the first significant gun violence prevention legislation in decades. These bills, commonsense legislation which could help to save countless lives, continue to gather dust on the Senate Majority leader’s desk. Despite the Senate’s unwillingness to act, Linda has inspired me to never give up. We must continue to advocate for a solution to the gun violence epidemic. Lives depend on it.”


“Congressman Suozzi totally gets that gun violence prevention should not be a partisan issue and, over the last two years, I have seen his commitment to this cause. He does not speak as a politician, he speaks as a father and friend to his constituents who cares deeply, and as a person who is determined to make safety his primary issue,” said Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of Scott J. Beigel, geography teacher and cross country coach murdered in the Parkland, FL massacre. “I stand with Congressman Suozzi for reasonable gun violence prevention legislation so that we can all take a deep breath and feel safe in our everyday lives.”


In 2019, the House passed the first significant gun violence prevention legislation in decades. While incidences of gun violence continue to rise, the Senate has yet to vote on either H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act or H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, both of which remain on the Senate Majority Leader’s desk.


Suozzi has been a fierce advocate for gun violence prevention since arriving to Congress. He helped to pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 to support universal background checks and has cosponsored every major piece of gun violence legislation including, Assault Weapons Ban, and Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag) legislation. Suozzi has also been a vocal supporter of providing funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to study gun violence and worked hard to ensure the inclusion of $25 million to go toward research in the last round of spending bills.


Schulman, since losing her son to gun violence more than two years ago in Parkland, has dedicated herself to promoting common-sense gun legislation. Schulman advocated tirelessly for a Red Flag law in New York and has noted that had a similar law existed before the shooting in Parkland, her son might still be alive today. Last year, the New York State legislature passed Red Flag legislation.


Quotes from National Gun Violence Prevention Organizations: 


“100 Americans are killed by guns every day in America, and many more are wounded,” said Sarah Trumble, Director of Federal Legislative Campaigns at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We are thrilled that Rep. Suozzi is calling attention to this uniquely American crisis by bringing a gun violence prevention advocate to the State of the Union.”


“Linda Beigel Schulman’s presence at tomorrow’s State of the Union is a vital and clear reminder that our federal government must address the gun violence epidemic in the United States. Brady is grateful to Ms. Schulman for her advocacy and passion,” said Kris Brown, President of the Brady Campaign. “Ms. Schulman represents the best of our country, turning personal tragedy into a clear call for action so that no other family endures what she has been forced to. We are grateful to Rep. Suozzi for bringing Ms. Schulman to this year’s State of the Union, for highlighting her story, her voice, and the urgent need to address gun violence in our country. Rep. Suozzi continues to lead in ensuring we never become complacent in this effort. Brady thanks both Ms. Schulman and Rep. Suozzi for their leadership.”


“When the president stands before the nation for his State of the Union address tomorrow, you won’t hear about failures. Yet, as gun violence remains a crisis that continues to devastate our communities, instead of offering clear and decisive action, President Trump has muddled his way through excuses,” said Sheila E. Isong, Engagement Director of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. “Almost a year after the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, he’s refused to call for a vote from his Senate majority. A true leader would have understood the stakes and demanded a bill get to his desk. Instead, all he has to offer to Americans like Linda Beigel Schulman are broken promises, as he fails to address a problem hurting families like hers every single day.”