The remarks by a NRA lobbyist that the organization's efforts would intensify after the "Connecticut effect" subsides are callous and offensive and should be denounced by the NRA. If the NRA believes that Americans are going to forget what happened two months ago this week, it is sorely mistaken. What the NRA doesn't seem to understand is that the so-called "Connecticut effect" is actually 20 children with their whole lives ahead of them taken from us in a matter of seconds - and six courageous educators who simply came to school to help children and, instead, lost their lives trying to protect them. The unimaginable pain their families and the Newtown community and our nation feel will not wear off anytime soon.
What happened in the Newtown tragedy was a seismic change in our nation's conscience on the need to prevent gun violence. Instead of waiting for the "Connecticut effect" to wear off, we should be joining together to enact real change. Change that will help our law enforcement officials keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to do harm. Change that will ensure that laws on the books are enforced. Change that will strengthen our mental health system. And change that will keep our children safe from tragic acts of violence.
Many people in Newtown came together after the shootings and asked the nation to take the Sandy Hook Promise, which calls for meaningful change and an open dialogue on gun violence. At the Senate Judiciary Committee's first hearing on gun violence last month, I asked Wayne LaPierre to take the Sandy Hook Promise, and he agreed to do so. I am appalled that the NRA is apparently not working in the spirit of that promise.
Nine out of ten Americans now support background checks on guns. The "Connecticut effect" is simply not what this shameful NRA lobbyist claims it to be. The American people were galvanized by the shooting of 20 innocent children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the memory of that event will be forever seared into the American conscience.
I discussed these appalling words this morning during the Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence: