Transcript: Sen. Richard Blumenthal on the Senate’s failure to pass the Toomey-Manchin gun legislation

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on the failure to pass the gun legislation (S. 649). The press briefing was held on April 17, 2013:

I want to begin by thanking Majority Leader [Harry] Reid for his leadership and his perseverance. You know, there’s going to be a lot of hindsighting about when something should have been done or where or how. But I have been so proud to stand with him and his commitment to see this cause through. means more than I can say.

Today was a heartbreaker. Probably the saddest day of my years in public life. But the hardest part was to try to look these families in the eye and explain to them how 90% of the American people can be on their side and the United States Senate failed to reach 60 votes. I haven’t the words yet. I don’t know what the explanation is but I do know as they said to me, “We will be back.” And when I said to them, “It’s not over” they said to me, “It’s not even close to over.” So I just want to thank them for their lesson in being resolute and resilient in the face of loss.

There is a lesson for all America here today and it’s in this picture, which is worth a thousand words, that we will see this cause through. This cause is not going away. The Connecticut effect is not going away. They are not going away. The Newtown families will be back, giving a face and a voice to all the victims of violence – the 3,400 since their loss last December and the many who perished before them.

I am proud to stand with them today, and we will make America safer and better.

Thank you.

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