Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at a press conference on the nine-month anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“Thank you. Good afternoon. Thank you, Po Murray; thank you, Congresswoman Robin Kelly for your leadership for bringing us together. It is an honor to be here once again with Senator [Richard] Blumenthal, Senator [Chris] Murphy of Connecticut, with our colleague [Congresswoman] Elizabeth Esty who represents Newtown. And I want to pay special recognition to [Congressman] Mike Thompson of California, who’s the Chair of our task force on gun violence prevention in the Congress and has done a great job bringing us together in the House around the bipartisan legislation for background checks with Congressman King of New York. Thank you, [Congressman] Thompson.
‘“Our hearts are broken; our spirit is not.’ Every time the families of Newtown come to our nation’s capital to share their stories, we remember these words of the Sandy Hook promise. We respect how they are turning grief into action, how they are moving forward with purpose and strength. And here so many from around the country are gathered.
“Nine months after a lone gunman took the lives of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we remember that nearly 8,000 American lives have already been taken in America – 8,000 since that day. Nine months later, we remember that the people of Newtown are not alone in confronting the tragedy of gun violence – or in taking action against it.
“No community is immune from the pain or presence of gun violence – and even at a military facility as secure as the Navy Yard right here in Washington, D.C. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the victims of the Navy Yard violence.
“From Connecticut, from Aurora to Oak Creek, from Virginia Tech to Tucson to Chicago, across our country every place you turn every day, America is reminded of the need for action to promote gun safety with every life cut short, with every new story of terror and violence.
“With us today are Americans from across the country ready to share their stories: Carlos Soto, whose sister, Victoria, was a teacher at Sandy Hook and was very brave in trying to save children’s lives; Shundra Robinson, who lost her child three years ago in Chicago, Tom Sullivan and Sandy Philips, each of whom lost a child in a movie theater in Aurora.
“You know, every time one of these episodes happens – like yesterday, and Aurora, and Newtown – we have a moment of silence in the Capitol. It’s a tradition. But we’re almost unworthy of that tradition to think the moment of silence should make us feel better. When the fact is, we don’t need a moment of silence. We need a day of action.
“Mr. Thompson has over 180 co-sponsors in a bipartisan way of the bill. The families want and deserve a vote. I believe if the bill were brought to the floor, it would pass and it would pass in a bipartisan way. Let’s take a vote.
“Thank you all for making this possible.”