NEWTOWN: People from across our state and around the country have expressed in emails, letters and phone calls, their grief and outrage at what happened on the morning of December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School when the lives of twenty children and six women were stolen.
Our thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to the students, parents, teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary, to the brave first responders, to the whole Newtown community, and to all those who loved and knew the victims. As a mother who has been a room parent in a first grade classroom, I join the millions around the world who have been devastated by the loss of these treasured young lives and their dedicated teachers.
In the time that's past since that unspeakable horror, I have attempted to be present and to serve, in whatever way I can, the people of Newtown, Connecticut during the darkest of days. I witnessed, first-hand, the unparalleled resilience, courage, and generosity of our police, state troopers, firefighters, teachers, families, Red Cross volunteers, local officials, state officials, and everyone who has pulled together to see Newtown through this time of tragedy.
It is with clear eyes that I see the long road ahead of us. First and foremost in my thoughts and in my actions will be to continue to serve the people of Newtown and the 5th District. I will work to ensure that in the days, weeks, and months ahead that this community has the support it needs to grieve, to heal, and to begin rebuilding lives. This is the immediate task before me as their public servant.
As we move forward, there is much that can, and must, be done by us as a nation. Make no mistake -- I stand ready to act. Let us honor those who lost their lives, in this tragedy and those similar tragedies around this country, by ensuring that such unconscionable horror is not visited upon another child, another family, or another community.
In meeting with law enforcement, our first responders, mental health professionals, and community leaders in Newtown and across our state, it is clear to me that we must take comprehensive action. That means commonsense gun policies - reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban, closing the gun show loophole and placing a ban on high-capacity magazine clips - as well as making a firm and lasting commitment to mental health services and a national conversation about the culture of violence in our society.
I am committed to the long road ahead, working with the President, members of Congress, law enforcement, and our community leaders, mental health professionals and clergy, to ensure that such a horrific tragedy never again devastates another community.
I look forward to hearing from you.