Elizabeth Esty

Gun Violence Prevention: Moms Take the Hill - March 13, 2013

Elizabeth Esty
March 13, 2013— Washington, DC
“Moms Take the Hill” Day
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Well, thank you so much, Anne, and thank you, Marie, for telling your story. Thank you, Michelle, for putting in graphic terms what our physicians who have become on the front lines of this war. And I have to tell you, it is a bittersweet honor to represent my district of Newtown. And Monte, and… and, Becky, is Becky still back there? Monte, please stand up.

Monte, alright. This…now, I’m not going to put this on, it’s a little small, but Monte really is the one who organized. Monte has become a good friend. Monte is a Sandy Hook parent and a cyclist, and his heart broke as this country’s heart broke on December 14 because these were his friend’s children. And his daughter’s favorite teacher was Vickie Sotto, who was killed protecting her students. And what is so extraordinary about this community, about Newtown and why things will change this year. It is because the response of that community was not despair. The response of those parents was grief, yes, but it was not anger and despair, it was action. It was action based on this. This is from Chris McDonald and you may have seen Lynn and Chris McDonald, their daughter Grace, who loves pink, did a painting that was given to the president. And they have extraordinary strength that they’re deriving from their daughter and from this mission. And it’s hope, peace and love. That is why we’re here, because we are standing up for America’s children and we must and we will do better to protect them. It is our job, it is our job whether we are parents, or grandparents, or siblings, or elected officials.

You know, there is a sad, and growing fraternity and sorority of Members of Congress, who are victims themselves of gun violence, whose family members have been killed, whose districts have suffered these mass shootings. Enough is enough. It is time for us to act. It is hard, but it is not complicated. We know what we need to do. And we need to do it. And your presence here, your commitment, your strength, your passion to make this country be the better country it needs to be. To enact universal criminal background checks, which will keep our children and our police officers safer. To reenact a new and improved version of the Assault Weapons Ban, covering high capacity magazines. To really address mental health in this country. To ensure we have safety in our schools and to ensure, that, for the first time we actually have federal laws that treat trafficking in guns as more serious than trafficking in tainted food. Folks think about that.

It isn’t even a federal crime. It is…it is a paperwork violation to traffic in guns in this country. There are things we need to fix. They are common sense. And your voices, your commitment, your passion and it’s not just the short haul. It’s now, and it’s for the long haul. We are in it for the long haul. Carolyn, I’m so honored to serve with. She deserves our support. She has been fighting this battle and so has Dianne Feinstein for 20 years.

We will get it done this year, with your help and your support. And think of those children every day. Those children deserve a voice and a vote in the U.S. Senate, a voice and a vote in the U.S. House. And with your help we’ll get it done.

Thank you.