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Ms. SCHWARTZ. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was shattering for Americans everywhere. For such an unspeakable act of violence to take place at an elementary school--a place of safety, learning and lively spirit--was devastating. My own sons are grown, but my memories from their first days at school are still very vivid.
The shooting was both a deeply personal family tragedy and a tragedy for the community of Newtown and for our Nation. I, along with all American parents, feel the loss personally. It brought not only tears, but also deep sadness. The youngest victims were 6, 7. It's unacceptable.
We feel the loss of each child, so innocent, so joyful--their hopes, their dreams and their potential never to be fulfilled. We mourn the loss of the teachers and staff who were a comfort to their students and who did all that they could to protect them. My thoughts and my prayers are with each of the families and all of Newtown.
Did all that they could to protect them. My thoughts and my prayers are with each of the families and all of Newtown.
We have seen far too many moments of violence and loss. This loss is too devastating to ignore. I believe that even in this time of deep sadness and grief we must resolve to end such violence. We must do better to understand and treat mental illness. And we must come together to move our Nation towards commonsense, reasonable gun laws, laws that recognize the responsibility of gun ownership and ensure safety and security in our homes and our schools and our communities and in our public spaces.
One of the Nation's greatest strengths that we have as Americans and as a people is that our Nation and each of us is so resilient. We must use that resilience to not only grieve together at this really difficult time, but to work together to prevent yet another devastating act of violence and to be shattered once again.
We should act, and I join my colleagues in a willingness and a commitment to do so.
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