Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak out against the senseless violence that engulfs our communities and across the nation.
America's greatest strength comes from its rich diversity of culture, race, ethnicity, religion and perspectives. Separately, these are the threads that define who we are as individuals. Pull these threads together, and they create a tapestry of who we are as a nation. Let us never forget that there are two threads each of us living in this moment, no matter our background, share in common: the invisible bond of citizenship and the experience of childhood.
However, far too many children living in this nation never have the chance to know a true childhood.
In my mind, a true childhood is a time in our lives where we have enough. Enough love to know we have value, enough food to allow us to never know hunger, and enough supports in our communities to better ensure our health and safety. These are but a few of the important elements that a child needs enough of in order to better ensure a healthy and successful adulthood.
Americans from every walk of life have together mourned the loss of the innocent children who died on December 12, 2013, and rightfully so. We mourned the lives lost from the shootings in Phoenix, Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Tech. For our nation's children who are trying to grow up in our nation's urban settings, the opportunity to realize adulthood is placed in jeopardy because of gun violence on a daily basis.
In the last 12 years in Connecticut, 94 children have died from gun violence. In that same span of time, more than 924 were injured and maimed by firearms. The majority of these firearm injuries and deaths occurred in Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport.
The children and youth who die each day in our cities from gun violence are every bit as precious, every bit as deeply loved and missed as any child who dies anywhere else in our nation.
I stand here today on the floor of the House to ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing the 20 lives senselessly cut short by gun violence the last 18 months in the city of Hartford.
Today, here in the United States House of Representatives, we mourn the loss of: