Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) delivered the opening statement today at a hearing, "Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action." Representatives heard from a panel of witnesses who have witnessed the devastating effects of gun violence first hand, including the Newtown Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Janet Robinson.
The remarks are as prepared for delivery:
"Thank you. It is my privilege to welcome you. Thank you to Leader Pelosi for calling this important hearing. I am also pleased to join Rob Andrews, co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, and my other colleagues for being here today. And thank you to all the members of our distinguished panel today for taking the time to join us.
"I personally want to thank and acknowledge our visitor from Connecticut, Superintendent Janet Robinson of the Newtown Public School System. I know that Janet has been working with teachers and Dr. Marans at an unbelievable institution, the Yale Child Trauma Center, on ways to help teachers work through this tragedy with their students. I look forward to hearing more about this, and to your testimony.
"Last month at Sandy Hook, a place where children should be safe to learn and to grow, the incomprehensible actions of a young man suddenly devastated a small-town community.
Six adults and 20 innocent children, all of them between 6 and 7 years old, were murdered in cold blood. We have seen similar acts of terror and evil in Aurora and Portland, in Littleton and Blacksburg, in Oakland and Tucson -- all across our country. We see the loss of life from gun violence every day, all across this nation.
"After the unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, President Obama spoke to the country and asked us: Are we doing enough to protect our children? The answer, he admitted, is no. And that must change. That is why we are here today.
"In today's hearing, we will hear from people who deal with the effects of gun violence every day. The wide range of experience and expertise from these panelists will facilitate a discussion on the common-sense and constructive steps that we must take to ensure these sorts of tragedies will never happen again.
"I have a letter from the teachers of Newtown which I enter into the record. I will just share you with one part.
"It reads: "In our schools, we need to strike the right balance to ensure that schools are nurturing while also safe. And we need to strike the right balance so that schools do not become armed fortresses where kids are unable to be kids. The voice of educators is critical to ensuring that we find and maintain this balance between safety and learning.'
"As we move forward during this difficult time, collaboration, communication, and valuing the voice and experience of all the members of our community -- teachers, educators, law enforcement officials, and the affected families -- will be essential to making our schools and streets safer, stronger, and more united.
"That is why we are here today. To prevent another Sandy Hook, we all have to work together to end gun violence. I hope we can continue that conversation today on how best to accomplish this, and make our children safer."