Solemn words on Capitol Hill in wake of shooting
December 17th, 2012
11:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Solemn words on Capitol Hill in wake of shooting

(CNN) - Legislators from around the country rose to the microphone in the House and Senate Monday with heavy hearts in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting that left 20 young students and six adults dead.

Both sides of the capitol observed a moment of silence and members from around the country offered tributes.

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Rep. Chris Murphy, whose district includes the Newtown school, shared stories of the faculty members who have been lauded by many as heroes and students whose lives were cut short.

"Little Noah Pozner was buried this morning by his parents and by his family," Murphy said. "Noah was an amazing little 6-year-old, not unlike most other precocious 6-year-olds.

He loved role playing, he was mischievous, he was smart as a whip. He always talked about what he wanted to do in life. What he wanted to be. One day he'd say he wanted to be a doctor. Another day he'd say he wanted to be a police officer. Most days his mom said he wanted to be a taco store owner. He loved tacos. That was his dream," Murphy continued.

The House approved his resolution condemning the attack, offering condolences to the community, and recognized the service of school staff and first responders.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut motioned to show the deceased children's height: "They're that big. They're that big."

"Within minutes the actions of a young and mentally ill man [had] devastated a small town community, broken the hearts of millions across the country and murdered six teachers and administrators and 20 children - innocent children, all of them between 6 and 7 years old," she said.

Her colleague, Rep. John Larson, also of Connecticut, recounted "the complete and utter despair when your child was not one of the kids who came out" alive from the school.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell each offered their reflections.

"Twenty little girls and boys. Twenty little daughters and sons, sisters, brothers, friends and playmates. Twenty children who will never grow up to learn to drive, go on that first date, graduate from high school," Reid said.

McConnell said, "What happened in Newtown on Friday is something no parent of a young child could ever prepare for. But I think President Obama spoke for all of us in the very moving meditation he offered last night on the singularity of parental love. There is literally nothing we wouldn't do for our kids and that's one of the things that makes this massacre so terrible, and makes the stories of courage we've heard so inspiring."

Larson and others spoke not only about the loss and heroism, but about the need for action. Several members have said they will offer or support legislation restricting access to assault weapons.

"The world is watching the United States Congress and we have a responsibility to respond in the most comprehensive way," he said.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama, e-mailed video of the president's Sunday night address at the Newtown vigil to his campaign's extensive email list. "As we reflect on the lives lost last week, we must also, as the President urged, consider how each of us can play a part in making our country worthy of the memory of those little children," Axelrod wrote. The message could offer a clue as to how Obama might harness public support to push legislation through the Congress.

The Senate chaplain called for the body to "act promptly" on measures so that a killing such as this might not happen again – an unusually political statement from the chaplain.

Murphy accepted the condolences of other members and shared a story from the weekend.

"On Sunday morning, Senator [Richard] Blumenthal and I went to a local church service and a guy grabbed us and said, 'make sure this never ever happens again,' " he recounted. "The honest truth is we can't make sure, but we can make it much less likely and certainly find ways to make sure if someone does slip through the cracks and they set themselves on the path of destruction, the destruction is no where near the scale we saw in Newtown.

"We are grieving right now and going to join this process of figuring out where we go from here very soon but it helps to know that we have the support and the love and the sympathy and the thoughts of the United States House of Representatives."

Filed under: Chris Murphy • Congress • Connecticut
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC


    Terrorists took down the towers without firing a single shot. did we ban planes?
    OK bomber took down a Federal Bldg without firing a single shot. Did we ban fertilizers?
    Nope, we regulate what can be brought onto a plane. We have instituted my thorough searching of passengers, baggage, and cargo.

    Nope, we have since instituted regulations and monitoring of how much of those materials can be purchased.

    If you have a point to make, then you have badly missed the mark. Next time think about what it is that you're repeating. Most of it is a Jedi mind trick, anyway. Strong minded liberals are immune to such influences.

    December 18, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. California Gary

    No udidn'tbuildthat.......we didn't ban planes after the twin towers came down........but we did make it more difficult to hijack planes now didn't we? Just like now......nobody is talking about banning all guns.......just looking for ways to make it harder for them to be used in the fashion they just were. Is that really so unreasonable to you?

    December 18, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Bill C

    I believe the president's speech was well toned and well timed. But I cannot help but notice the hypocrisy of President Obama and others on the left who openly champion the "right" of someone to murder their own child in the name of "choice" advocating an end to violence against children. More children are killed every day in the name of "choice" then were killed in Newtown. Yet they get no press, no presidential outrage, and no call to ban the barbarism that cuts their lives short. Are they any less worthy of our sympathy than those children killed in Connecticut? But just as those on the left accuse conservatives of cowering to the special interests of the NRA, those on the left won't dare take a stand against abortion for fear of angering the special interests of Planned Parenthood and its ilk. Sheer hypocrisy.

    December 18, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. CarolinaGirl

    Actions is louder than words reps.

    December 18, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Facts don't Lie

    when one man tried to blow up airplane with a shoe lead to all of us having to take off our shoes before could board....when 2 men tried to blow up a plane in England using common fluids it lead to now not being able to carry even a bottle of water past TSA security.....BUT after several people have done mass murder in our country it has lead to ...NOTHING being done about it. Does this make sense to you?

    December 18, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. matt

    We need less gun control so we can protect kids from insane people

    December 18, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. mr Magoo

    Despite the horrific tragedy in Newtown, I strongly believe no amount of gun control could have prevented this from happening.

    The fact that the mother was an avid gun enthusiast and often took her son to the gun range made this tragedy all the more disturbing.

    I'm sure the mother had no idea her boy would go to an elementary school and slaughter 20 children. Something like that just doesnt enter the minds of parents even if your child has mental 'difficulties'.

    And this whole idea of arming teachers? I think its insane. What's to prevent a teacher one day snapping and doing the same thing as the newtown shooter?

    December 18, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. ThinkaLittle

    Frist, an universal access to assault weapons influences mentalities. Yes, weapons, in massive amounts, if not killing people, make them feel it is easy to express one's rage by killing massively. Unfortunately, their feeling is right and confirmed. Second, weapon possessing advocates always refus to make the distinction between basic and high-power weapons. The mix up these realities so well that they think a teacher with a simple handgun could stop sombedy who spreads ammunitions with a semi-automatic rifle, put aside the surprise effect he benefits. Who need assault weapons? For what? No weapons possession advocate is capable of answering the question. Third, a simple, very basic look at statistics from the democratic et civilized contries, shows a direct correlation between easy weapons accessibility and crime rate. And the US are champions in both columns. By far.

    December 18, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. joe d

    So sad the shooter that killed the innocent in ct. diden't pay these dirty lowlife pigs in crongress a visit instead..I would have stood up and applauded

    December 21, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. John Petrie

    Think a littles article has no factual basis. Obviously this person did not think.

    Facts don't lie would not know one.

    January 3, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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