Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., will continue to press his colleagues to act on new gun safety laws and hopes the Newtown families can help convince lawmakers.
“What’s missing here is a sense of connection, perhaps to Newtown. But, I’ve been endeavoring to bring down to Washington some of the families, meeting privately, has a very powerful effect for senators who may have no immediate connection to Newtown or Aurora or Virginia Tech, geographically or personally, to meet with these families, see their courage and strength but also sense their grief and loss,” Blumenthal said on Jansing & Co.
Many of the Connecticut lawmakers who supported tough new gun laws in that state spoke of the emotional connection to Newtown and their responsibility to the victims. The state legislature voted early Thursday morning to approve an expanded assault weapons ban, a ban on high-capacity magazines and universal background checks.
“Hopefully that is some measure of comfort to the victims of Newtown, I think we owed it to them to take this seriously,” Connecticut Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey said.
State senator John McKinney vowed with his vote, he would be the voice for the voiceless victims. He read the names of the students and teachers killed by Newtown shooter Adam Lanza.
Sen. Blumenthal believes what was achieved in Connecticut, can serve as a model for the nation. It passed with bipartisan support, including the votes of six out of 18 Republicans.
“We owed it to them to take it seriously,” Blumenthal said. ”To recount, or sort of convey the shock and horror of those moments, the 6-year-olds and very brave teachers, and see the connection between high capacity magazines that enabled this killer to fire 154 rounds in five minutes, is very difficult unless you bring them face to face with the horror and tragedy in the form of the families.”
A new Quinnipiac poll finds 91% nationally support universal background checks, including 88% of gun owners.