Connecticut’s two U.S. senators took to the Senate floor today to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting.
Senator Richard Blumenthal recalled praying with the community at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown after 20 children and six educators were killed on December 14, 2012.
“I said to the congregation, ‘The whole world is watching.’ The whole world was watching. The world is watching America to see whether we will act. We are not the only country with mental health problems. Our rate of mental illness is no greater than any other developed industrial country, but our rate our gun violence is off the charts compared to other countries.”
In the five years since the Sandy Hook shooting, 150,000 people have died due to gun violence.
Blumenthal says Congress has failed to act.
“So today I am not just heartbroken, I am furious. I am angry beyond words about Congress’s complicity about the inaction we have seen, about Congress’s abject failure to take common sense steps that will protect the American people, about its failure to meet this public health crisis with the kind of action that the American people deserve and need.”
Senator Chris Murphy says he’s not discouraged because of the support he’s receiving from Sandy Hook victims’ families. He gave the example of one mother who visited him in his office recently.
“And she burst into my office, flung her arms around me...and she whispered into my ear, ‘Keep going.’ And she unclasped her arms, looked at me and said, ‘That’s all I wanted to come and tell you.’ And after a few pleasantries, she walked out the door…Keep going. It’s what Newtown has done over the last five years, it’s what those families have found the courage to do over the last half decade. For those of us who believe that the laws of this country must change in order to protect kids like those who lost their lives in Sandy Hook, it’s what we do.”