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Ms. EDWARDS. I thank the gentleman from Connecticut for your leadership, and I share in your absolute sorrow, and to honor the memory of the 20 children and six educators who lost their lives in this really horrific attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and our first responders, and all of those both in Newtown and across this country who were affected by this tragedy.
First, as a mother, my heart truly aches for the parents who lost their children. Young and old lost their future. But as a Member of Congress, I also know that we're not doing nearly enough to protect our children and to protect our communities from gun violence. In cities and rural areas, schools, offices and homes, this has happened far too many times in far too many communities all across our country.
In my district alone there have been over 160 incidences of gun violence this year. Forty-six people in my district have lost their lives to gun violence this year. I think about 6-year-old Amari Perkins, who lost his life to gun violence just miles from the Nation's Capitol, and 17-year-old Amber Stanley, who lost her life to gun violence.
This is a really complex problem that requires complex policy solutions, but the complexity should not keep us from doing what it is that we need to do to protect our children, whether those children are in Newtown or any town across this country. The question I think we have to ask ourselves, Mr. Speaker, is how many more tragic and senseless acts of violence have to take place before Congress is compelled to take truly meaningful action?
We must do all we can by working together to ensure people are safe in their schools, that our children are safe, that our educators are safe and our neighborhoods, our public spaces and our houses of worship all throughout our communities.
To my colleagues of the Connecticut delegation and especially to Mr. Murphy who represents Newtown, my thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this really difficult and incomprehensible time. But be assured that as a Member of Congress, I'm going to work with you, I'm going to continue to pray with you, and I'm going to make certain that this doesn't happen again because we have an obligation, we know what our to-do list is, and we have only to do it before year's end.
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