Washington – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement to mark the first anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Just one year ago, our collective hearts broke at the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At the hands of one mentally-ill young man, 26 lives were cut far too short, depriving families and friends of lifetimes of love, happiness and the promise of memories shared together.
“Yet again yesterday, another school shooting resulted in injury and death, and the people of Centennial, Colorado must grapple with the sadness and grief that comes with this epidemic of gun violence. We pray for them, as we prayed for the people of Newtown and for all the communities across America who move forward bravely in the wake of such profound loss.
“But enough is enough. This sweeping epidemic of gun violence is not pre-ordained; it’s preventable. 30,000 Americans shot and killed each year is not inevitable; it’s unacceptable. Eight children will die from gun violence each day, that’s 56 each week. That’s nearly three Newtown massacres every single week. We cannot allow our nation, our neighborhoods and our families to continue to endure such terrible violence.

“We need a ban on assault weapons. Assault weapons are for combat, not our communities. We need to stop the flow of high magazine clips, like the ones used in Aurora and Newtown. We need background checks on all gun sales, including private sales and purchases made at gun shows. And we must make access to mental health services a priority, to provide care to those who need it before tragedies occur.

“These changes will happen only if Americans from every corner of the country demand them. We should use this anniversary to recommit ourselves to ending the scourge of gun violence. We must build an army of activists to restore sanity to our gun laws and take back our country from the gun lobby extremists. We must do it now, and we must do it together.”