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To mark 10 years since tragedy, Sandy Hook's senators call for anti-gun measures

Conn. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal
Paul Morigi
AP Images for Sandy Hook Promise Foundation

U.S senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) spoke on the Senate floor calling for anti-gun measures on Wednesday, 10 years after the Sandy Hook School shooting.

Murphy, who has championed gun control legislation at the state and federal level, spoke about the emotions he felt while remembering the 20 children and six educators killed that day.

He called for their memory to be honored with action.

“Make a decision that in your world you're going to honor those kids and those adults' memories with some action,” Murphy said. “Because I guess that's what I think about most today. I'm sad for what we lost. But I'm also inspired and hopeful for all the grace and the kindness that has grown out of this tragedy. And I also realized that maybe more than anything else today, we should recognize that nothing in our life that we love should be taken for granted.”

This summer, Murphy fought to pass the bipartisan Safer Communities Act in the Senate. He said passing of that act, which expanded background checks and enhanced school safety, showed Americans that their elected officials were listening.

“What we communicated this summer to those kids and the parents is that we care,” Murphy said. “Our answer isn't nothing. And so, as much as I experienced this as a father, I also know that we've made progress. And that progress has been logistical and practical, but it's also been metaphysical. It's been emotional. What we did this summer, just gave kids in this country, parents in this country, a little bit of a feeling that we're gonna be there for them, and hopefully, more in the future.”

Blumenthal praised the passing of the Safer Communities Act, but warned that more must be done.

He said the next step is passing a federal version of Ethan's Law, which would regulate ghost guns and promote safe gun storage. Ethan’s law — named for Guilford teen Ethan Song — has been passed in Connecticut.

“Our teachers are doing their jobs,” Blumenthal said. “Our police are doing their jobs, parents are doing their jobs. Congress is not doing its job. Congress must do its job to strengthen our laws and prevent gun violence.”

Blumenthal and Murphy both highlighted the work that Sandy Hook families have done to remember their loved ones who were killed.

“That community has not only rallied around the loved ones who have experienced unspeakable loss, but they have helped support the charitable and nonprofits that those families formed in the wake of those losses,” Blumenthal said.

“I've worked with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love movement started by Scarlett Lewis, the Sandy Hook Promise organization started by the Hockley and Barden families," he continued. "The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, Ben's Lighthouse, the Emilie Parker Art Connection, the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund — just a couple of weeks ago, they had a run in Stratford, a 5k to benefit the great work that it's doing on scholarships. The Avielle Initiative, the Ana Grace Project, the list goes on."

"It is a part of this story, because Sandy Hook is the story not only of social change and legal and legislative reform. It is also an intensely personal story about grace and grit, about courage and strength and about a personal dedication to making good come of that unimaginable horror and evil on that day.”

Read about each victim and how their family honors them here.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.