Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 833, and in support of the greater Newtown community in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Twenty seven lives have been lost and countless others have been affected by the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 15, 2012.
Twenty first-graders were killed in their classroom.
And teachers and school administrators died while protecting their students.
As a nation, we are heartsick.
As a mother and grandmother of eight, I cannot even begin to fathom what the families of Newtown are going through.
As they have just begun the long and slow process of grieving and healing, our nation's hearts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with them.
This horrible crime reminds us that our time here is precious and short.
And it reminds us that even though we cannot prevent every single senseless violent act, we must come together to all we can to reduce the gun violence that contributed to these losses.
For too long we have neglected to take the steps necessary to stem the damage and harm inflicted by gun violence.
I pray that this horrific event will remind us that our highest priority is to keep our children safe--and right now we are not doing enough.
There is so much more that we can do to protect our families and communities from gun violence.
But there is also much more that we can and must do to strengthen our mental health care systems--to treat those in need, avert future violence, and support those whose lives have been affected by it.
In the coming days, weeks, and months, and as time passes for the community of Newtown, the nation will reflect on this tragedy.
I hope that through this soul searching we will conclude that we have a moral responsibility to take strong, effective action to reduce the harm caused by gun violence.
We owe it to the victims and their families to take every step possible to prevent another horrific tragedy like this one.
If not now, when?