Rep. Payne, Jr. on the Fifth Anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

Dec 14, 2017
The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, five years ago today was every parent’s worst nightmare come true. My heart goes out to the parents and families of the children and adults who died that day.
 
My triplets were barely teenagers at the time, and I was stricken with the same fear parents everywhere feel when confronted with the reality that we cannot always protect our children. The same fear of senseless gun violence plays out daily in communities throughout the United States. Every day in this country, forty-six children are shot. Every day in this country, seven children die from gun violence. Those statistics do not occur in any other high-income country on this planet.
 
As parents, we may not be able to protect our children from the world, but those of us who are both parents and Members of the United States Congress have the power to make the world safer for all children.
 
We in the Democratic Party have repeatedly introduced reasonable measures to protect the American people from gun violence.
 
We have proposed bills that would stop the online sale of bulk ammunition.
 
We have proposed programs to buy back some of the guns that are most often used in crimes.
 
We have proposed banning assault weapons.
 
We have tried standing up. We have tried speaking out. We have tried sitting in for sensible gun safety laws.
 
But each time we take action, the NRA and its allies in Congress shut us down.
 
So, here we are — five years after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, still waiting for the nation's leaders to lead.
 
Here we are, crying out to prevent the deaths of the seven children who will die by gunshot before the day is over.
 
And here we are, forced to ask the question: What kind of nation sacrifices human lives on the altar of the gun lobby?