NEWTOWN, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat who represents Newtown and all of the 5th District, released a video statement Wednesday recognizing the fourth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and calling for bipartisan action to prevent gun violence.
She was joined in her call for action by her colleagues, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (both D-Conn.).
“Our pain and grief still feel fresh, but so too is our undiminished determination to make the world better and safer in their memory. We stood together that afternoon at the firehouse — and we continue to stand with Newtown, a community that confronted unspeakable tragedy with unimaginable courage and strength. We must never cease striving to stop gun violence, inspired by Newtown's spirit," Blumenthal said. "Since that horrific day more than 120,000 have perished due to gun violence, and Congress continues to be complicit by its inaction. Undeterred and undiscouraged, we can honor the 26 beautiful children and educators lost that day by resolving to do more and do better.”
Murphy, who has made gun control a top priority since the shootings on Dec. 14, 2012, echoed that thought.
“Today is a hard day. It's a day of crippling sadness. And a day of impossible, unanswerable questions. I have had the honor over the past four years to become close with so many of the parents and family members of those who were lost that day. Their strength gives me strength. But there is no power that can make the pain visited upon us four years ago fade away," Murphy said.
“There’s nothing we can do that will make it right. Our world fractured four years ago and the pieces cannot ever be reassembled the same. But we can promise to be kinder to one another, to hug our loved ones and friends a little tighter, and reach out to those who may need a helping hand," he said. "And we can commit to never, ever giving up in the fight to fix our broken laws and make our country safer. No other family should have to endure the pain that too many in Sandy Hook are suffering today, and I won't rest until our schools and our streets are truly safe."
Esty's video ends with the names of all the shooting victims, 20 first-graders and six educators.
“We can and we must work to end the scourge of gun violence in this country," Esty says in the video. “Millions of you have joined your voices, you’ve written, you’ve called, you’ve sent emails, you’ve voted, you’ve talked to your neighbors, and insisted that we do better, that we make America safer for all of us.
“And so to my new colleagues in Congress, to the newly elected President, I ask you: Join us, work with us, because I know – and I know you know – it’s not OK that 33,000 Americans a year are dying from guns. We can do better than that, and with your help, if we all work together, if we commit to work with each other, we can save lives. ...
“Because we should be able to go to church, to pray in a temple or a synagogue or a mosque or a church, to go to school, to play in a park, to go to a movie theater, to relax with friends on a front porch and not worry about being gunned down.
“And I commit to you, and I ask you to commit to me and to each other. And to the new president and to my new colleagues, let’s resolve that 2017 is the year in which we can and we will do better for gun safety in this country.”