Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin said the government can combat gun violence the same way they tackled the opioid crisis.
"We can do this," Durbin said during his opening remarks during a hearing on gun violence Tuesday.
"The fact that guns are lawful products with legitimate uses, must not stop us from taking action to reduce gun deaths. Look at opioids. They have a lawful legitimate use, but Congress recognizes the public health catastrophe that resulted from the misuse of opioids, and we did something."
Durbin said when they announced holding this hearing on "Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence" last week Tuesday it was prior to the mass shooting in Georgia and as he was preparing his remarks on Monday, 10 people were killed in Boulder, Colorado.
"We can't keep up with it. I can't change them in my opening statement, to keep up with it. It just keeps coming at us," Durbin said.
"We're numb to the numbers, unless we are personally touched. It's just another statistic. That has got to stop. This committee, this hearing, I hope will open a conversation about constitutional common sense ways to reduce gun violence in America."
"We are Senate leaders, what are we doing other than reflecting and praying?" Durbin said.
Before showing a brief video of a montage of gun violence coverage on the news, Durbin said that an average 109 Americans lives are lost to gun violence – suicides, murders, accidental shootings, homicides – "the numbers are sobering ... We've seen too many desperate trips to the emergency room too many funerals too many families and communities have been scarred forever by gun violence. We've come to accept it as part of American life."
Durbin said that while gun violence disproportionately affects people of color "nobody is immune."