Chicago Sun-Times
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Rep. Robin Kelly delivers first floor speech: Push to pass gun legislation

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WASHINGTON--Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) delivered her first floor speech on Thursday, centering on her main campaign theme, gun-control.

"I know there are those who think that new gun laws aren't the solution. I say they're looking at the wrong equation. Common sense gun restrictions are part of a multi-pronged approach to stemming gun violence that should also include increased access to mental health services and better community and social supports. It will take a village to save these children, our children,"

The Senate rejected a series of gun-control measures earlier this year. The fate of gun measures in the House is uncertain.

Thank you Madam Speaker

By now, you've all heard of the terrible shooting that took place on Sunday during the Mother's Day parade in New Orleans. Like all Americans, I was saddened to once again see a joyous public event marred by gun violence.

Yet as the Mother's Day shooting unfolded in New Orleans, I was struck by another, lesser known story about the toll of gun violence that was playing out more than 900 miles away in Chicago. It is the story of love and loss told by the mothers of those killed by gun violence who were facing Mother's Day without their children, some perhaps for the first time.

A group of these mothers gathered at a memorial wall outside a Chicago church on Sunday to mourn and to remember their children. As a mother who was blessed to spend the day with my children, their pain and anguish is unimaginable.

For every mass shooting that grabs the headlines, there are dozens more that take place on America's streets every day that are leaving a lost generation in their wake. And yet in the national debate about gun violence, these every day killings, this slow motion massacre, is often overlooked. And so are the mothers who are left behind.

Just as the mothers who wept for their children in Newtown, these Chicago mothers are also the faces of the aftermath of gun violence. Because whether your child is shot in a classroom or on a street corner, your hopes and dreams for them were the same and so is the agony of your loss.

It is for these mothers - Clara Allen, Tanya Butler, Angela Blakely and others like them - that I raise my voice, in memory of their children, to implore my colleagues in Congress to pass reasonable and responsible gun legislation. We must act now to end the senseless killings in our street, the gun violence.

I know there are those who think that new gun laws aren't the solution. I say they're looking at the wrong equation. Common sense gun restrictions are part of a multi-pronged approach to stemming gun violence that should also include increased access to mental health services and better community and social supports. It will take a village to save these children, our children.

Passing common sense gun legislation is a key step in the process by helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands. We must take a stand for these children - and their mothers - and send the message that we hear them, we care about them and that their lives matter.

I yield back.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 16, 2013 10:30 AM.

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