Transcript: Rep. Elizabeth Esty says Newtown is still paying the price for Congressional inaction on gun violence

Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of remarks by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) supporting the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 at a press conference on Jan. 24, 2013: 

Good morning. My name is Elizabeth Esty, and I represent Connecticut’s 5th district.

And as a new member of Congress who got started as a PTA mom, was a first-grade room parent, this was an unbelievably difficult situation to walk into.

And I want to talk about the cost of inaction…

Rob is a volunteer firefighter – many generations in the small community of Sandy Hook. And his wife, Barb, have 2 children in the Sandy Hook school. He received a call that morning from his wife, who had gone to the school to take some medication to their son. And he got a call saying, “Rob, there’s a man coming towards me with a gun. I love you” and hung up the phone.

That is what the people of Newtown, Connecticut are dealing with now.

Grace McDonnell’s parents came to the White House last week. They gave a painting by their daughter who loves painting.

I know my friends and Senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, join me in this unbelievably sad parade of funerals for 6 and 7-year-olds.

Eight of the girls were in the same Girl Scout troop. Five of the boys were in the same Boy Scout troop. So imagine every graduation, every Eagle Scout ceremony, those families and all of their friends will be grieving. The pain is not over.

What I’ve heard again and again when I’ve met with families and members of the community in Newtown, and what I’ve heard in the letters and phone calls and emails I’ve been receiving from around the state and around America is that we must take meaningful action to save lives.

What happened in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012 was an unspeakable tragedy. But what happens now – that is up to us.

Newtown must be a call to action for Congress and for all Americans who believe and who know that we can respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and at the same time we can save lives because Newtown has paid and is paying the price of inaction. Because communities across this country and my sad but growing community of fraternity and sorority members of Congress with this in their districts, a growing fraternity and sorority of communities that have paid and are paying the price of political inaction. Because we can no longer sit by and let the loss of precious school children – 6 and 7-year-olds – and courageous educators go unanswered. We cannot allow the loss of countless of our brothers and our sisters and parents who are cut down every day by gun violence.

It is time act. It is time to renew and strengthen the assault weapons ban, and that time is now.

… But make no mistake, it is not just our battle; it is America’s battle…I hope, I pray, and I believe that this horror in the little town of Newtown, Connecticut is our wake-up call. It is our call as Americans to act and to act to save lives.



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2 Comments on “Transcript: Rep. Elizabeth Esty says Newtown is still paying the price for Congressional inaction on gun violence

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says assault weapons ban will save lives | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin urges responsible hunters & sportsmen to support assault weapons ban | What The Folly?!

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