Next week, nine years have passed since a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killed 20 children and six educators. Every year near the date, the Newtown Action Alliance advocacy group holds a vigil for those killed by gun violence, which this year took place on Wednesday evening.
Michael Song, whose son Ethan was killed by an unsecured gun in Connecticut in 2018, performed at the vigil. Her son’s death inspired a state law that requires gun owners to secure their guns if there are children.
Song was one of dozens of survivors – and family members of the victims – at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC Newtown student Maggie LaBanca survived the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. .
âEven though it’s been almost nine years since I’ve endured this day, everything has stayed with me so clearly. The trauma has never gone away, and I still feel sad the entire time I’m here and they aren’t, âLaBanca said.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal said survivors and the families of the victims are pushing for gun control legislation.
“We keep the faith and we have created a social movement, a political movement which only grows in strength thanks to your voices and your faces speaking much more eloquently than I could ever hope to do,” said Blumenthal.
Lawyers and lawmakers followed the vigil the next morning with further calls for the passage of gun control legislation. No major gun control bills have been passed since the 2012 shooting.
âIf the will of the people cannot be carried out by a vote in the United States Senate, then we cannot advance legislation. We cannot apply the will of the people. And it’s not just gun violence. It’s voting rights, âsaid US Representative John Larson, who represents Connecticut’s First District.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut this month lobbied for a bill to improve background checks, but it was blocked by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.
A Gallup poll last month showed that support for gun control in the United States was at its lowest level since 2014.