Parents of some of the children killed in the Newtown shootings are back in Washington this week, commemorating the six-month anniversary of the murder of 20 children and 6 teachers by renewing their call for new gun safety measures–and reminding lawmakers that they will not back down.
Several parents, like Nicole Hockley, met with West Virginia Senator Joe Machin on Wednesday to discuss the next steps. Manchin, a co-sponsor of the Toomey-Manchin bill to expand background checks on gun sales, said gun control reforms are still “on the front burner.” Manchin and Toomey’s bipartisan effort to pass background checks legislation in the Senate failed in April by a handful of votes.
Hockley, whose son Dylan was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, calls the April vote only “a little stall.” She told reporters Wednesday that gun control reform was still going to happen. “We’re going to get there. That’s not an issue whatsoever.”
Manchin said that his home state of West Virginia “cherishes” the Second Amendment “but wants something done” to prevent tragedies like Newtown from happening again. Senator Manchin told msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell in early May that the background checks bill was “coming back.”
While gun control has been absent from much of the recent scandal-driven conversation in Washington, the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is reigniting the push with a campaign, “No More Names,” a national drive to persuade lawmakers to reconsider their stance on gun control legislation.
“I’ve always wanted to believe that common sense will prevail,” Hockley said. And until it does, she made clear, these parents will not go away.