Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) gave an emotional speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in the wake of the horrific shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas that left five officers dead.
“A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us,” the Ryan said. “The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else.”
The transcript of his full remarks are below:
We are all stunned by the events last night in Dallas. We are all outraged. An attack on the people who protect us is an attack on all of us.
Our hearts are with the Dallas Police Department. Our hearts are with the victims, and especially with their loved ones. They wear the badge too. I know that to be a cop’s wife or a cop’s husband is to prepare for the worst, but who could fathom such horror as this.
There is no cause or context in which this violence—this kind of terror—is justified. None at all.
There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let’s not let that happen. There’s going to be a temptation to let our anger send us further into our corners. Let’s not let that happen. That script is just easy to write—it’s too predictable. Let’s defy those predictions.
A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us. They do not control us. The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else. And as the president rightfully said, justice will be done.
We also have to let the healing be done as well. This has been a long week for our country. It’s been a long month for America. We have seen terrible, terrible senseless things.
Every member of this body—every Republican and every Democrat—wants to see less gun violence. Every member of this body wants a world in which people feel safe regardless of the color of their skin. And that’s not how people are feeling these days.
Sometimes we disagree on how to get there. Sometimes we disagree passionately on how to get there. But in having this debate, let’s not lose sight of the values that unite us. Let’s not lose sight in our common humanity.
The values that brought those protesters to the streets in Dallas, the values that brought those protesters to the streets in Washington last night—respect, decency, compassion, humanity. If we lose these fundamental things, what’s left?
We need to take a moment here. For reflection, for thought, for prayer, for justice, for action. Right now, let’s let justice be done, and let’s also let some healing occur, too.