The long awaited presidential debate, between two candidates who epitomize the polarized state of failed political discourse in our country, left the issue of preventing gun violence largely unaddressed. While Hillary Clinton incorporated the need for reform of gun and access to dangerous military weapons in her response to Lester Holt’s question about race, we learned nothing of Mr. Trump’s strategy. Considering just several recent mass shootings ― Orlando, Houston, Burlington, South Carolina, in addition to an average of 90 gun deaths a day due to criminal and accidental shootings ― voters deserve to know what both candidates would do as president to reduce the gun violence devastating families and communities across the country.
For the last three years producing Newtown, a documentary about the aftermath of the 2012 tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Ct, we learned the indelible ripple effect of trauma on the community at large. From parents who lost children, families who lost loved ones, teachers, local law enforcement, students and faith leaders we understand the grave and lasting devastation the community of Newtown has endured. Audiences not only bear witness to an unimaginable tragedy, but to a remarkable display of dignity and resilience from a community that could be any town in America. Our Newtown friends have worked to regain their lives, trying to spare others. from the emotional scarring that will last generations to come.
These accidental advocates are growing in number and strength, bound together in the club nobody wants to belong to. And as grassroots advocacy grows, the conversation deepens and more pressure on local and national leaders mounts with the demand for change. But during this critical time in the presidential election, even as we pray for the families of very recent tragedies, specific plans to stop the criminal terrorizing acts of gun violence in America have not been shared by both candidates.
It is said that the Newtown tragedy should have been the tipping point. But over 100,000 gun deaths have occurred since and recent history has proven a surge in senseless tragic acts of gun violence that must be brought to an end. We hope this critical issue will be addressed in the remaining weeks of the campaign. American voters deserve to understand both candidates’ plans for ending the repeated horrific acts of gun violence, traumatizing our families, children and communities.
Because we are ALL Newtown.