Newtown Action Alliance vigil marks 9 years since Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
Next week marks nine years since a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 20 children and six educators. Each year near the date, the advocacy group Newtown Action Alliance holds a vigil for those killed by gun violence, which this year was held on Wednesday night.
Michael Song, whose son Ethan was killed by an unsecured gun in Connecticut in 2018, performed at the vigil. His son's death inspired a state law that requires gun owners to secure their weapons if children are around.
Song was one of dozens of survivors — and family members of victims — at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Newtown student Maggie LaBanca survived the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.
“Even though it’s been almost nine years since I endured that day, everything has stayed with me so clearly. The trauma never went away, and I still feel sad all the time that I’m here and they’re not,” LaBanca said.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said survivors and victims’ families are driving a push for gun control legislation.
“We are keeping faith, and we have created a social movement, a political movement that is only growing in force because of your voices and faces that speak far more eloquently than I could ever hope to do,” Blumenthal said.
Advocates and lawmakers followed up the vigil the next morning with renewed calls to pass gun control legislation. No major gun control bills have passed since the 2012 shooting.
“If the people’s will cannot be executed through a vote in the United States Senate, then we can’t move legislation forward. We can’t enact the will of the people. And it’s not just gun violence. It’s voting rights,” said U.S. Representative John Larson, who represents Connecticut’s first district.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut made a push this month for a bill to enhance background checks, but it was blocked by Republicans on the judiciary committee.
A Gallup poll last month showed support for gun control in the U.S. at its lowest point since 2014.