Shortly after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we drove from New York to Newtown to meet with some of the parents and members of the community who lost so much on that day.
We had no idea what to expect.
We had experienced firsthand the wreckage left in the wake of a mass shooting, but to us, and the entire nation, Newtown felt different . . .
After speaking with the families, Gabby slowly walked over to an empty chair and collapsed into it. “So awful,” she said …” Enough.”
It wasn’t Tucson that inspired us to start Americans for Responsible Solutions — it was Newtown, and visiting with those families solidified our resolve.
Every time we hear of another school shooting, both of us are brought back to that day. All of us are, no doubt.
Yesterday, it was a high school in Washington State, where just two days ago Gabby met with local leaders to discuss how we can keep our communities safer from gun violence.
And once again, we’re left to wonder when our national response to tragedies such as these will consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence.
In the past, there’s always been an expected protocol that after an event like this you put out a statement while implicitly agreeing that “now is not the time to talk about politics.”
But maybe that is the wrong approach. If not now, then when?
We must continue our work to keep guns from the hands of domestic abusers, criminals, and the dangerously mentally ill. Laws — passed, and passed on — have consequences. And we won’t shy away from talking about that.
It’s what we assured the families in Newtown almost two years ago, and it remains our promise to you today.
Thank you for standing with us,
Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly