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Toni Boucher, the Republican candidate for State Senate District 26, issued the following statement and photo on Thursday, June 2, regarding National Gun Violence Awareness Day, taking place on Friday, June 3, and the devastating mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX and others around the country.
“Today I joined First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice*, Wilton Police Chief John Lynch and Wilton Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Smith at Town Hall today in observance of ‘Wear Orange’ and National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 3. As we look ahead to National Gun Violence Awareness Day, my heart is with the victims of far too many acts of violence, and my mind is focused on how we can work together to institute common-sense public safety measures across our country to make every community safer for every person. Our entire community is feeling pain, heartache, and the desire to take action to protect our loved ones. Learning of the tragic and horrific shooting in Uvalde brought back the gut-wrenching feeling so many of us felt following the Sandy Hook tragedy. There are no words to express the horror felt by the families whose very worst nightmare had become a reality. In the wake of such devastation, we must continue to share our love, as well as advocate for action to stop violence in all forms.
“As I look back on the Sandy Hook tragedy we remember every excruciating devastating detail like it was yesterday. As a member of the State Senate, I was proud to support Senate Bill 1160 on April 2, 2013, a massive bipartisan bill that addressed everything from gun safety to school policy and mental health care — a result of the collaboration of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as the voices of parents, students, and constituents across the state. Together, we moved quickly to safeguard our schools by passing the most comprehensive gun bill in the country. The Governor signed it into law the next day.
“Among the many factors in our success was that the process was completely bipartisan. We had a working group of three Democrats and three Republicans, of whom I was one. Bipartisanship from both the State House and Senate was key.
“As part of this bill, we instituted universal background checks for those who purchase a gun, expanded Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, and outlawed the sale of new high-capacity ammunition magazines. We also strengthened school security and expanded mental health services. As a result, Connecticut leads the nation in gun safety measures. But our work here is not enough. Uvalde proves this.
“We must do more in Connecticut to stop all forms of violence and crime, in every city and town, and make our communities safer for everyone. On the federal level, the United States Congress must pass common-sense legislation consistent with the Second Amendment and focused on public safety as we did in Connecticut nine years ago. In Connecticut, we brought all voices and perspectives together and that unity led to action. Washington must stop playing politics and instead focus on uniting people and working toward solutions with all voices and perspectives coming together.
“As we look ahead to National Gun Violence Awareness Day, we pray, we share our compassion and heartache, and we also must act to achieve a safer Connecticut and a safer nation for all.”
* Editor’s note: First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice was not at the event, due to a back injury. Her remarks were read by Police Chief John Lynch.
Thank you for your support. Hopefully, you will call out those members of the Republican Party (at every level of government) who refuse to even consider gun safety legislation.
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