PHILADELPHIA, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There are days when I wish I hadn't been there. Moments when I try to forget the things I saw, the things I heard, that soul-crushing morning at the firehouse in Sandy Hook. The grief, the unending, mind-altering, paralyzing sorrow that comes with losing a child to gun violence, is unimaginable. Only those who live it, know it. In Newtown, Connecticut, families of 20 first graders and their six teachers live it every minute of every day. And across the country, each day, 90 families join them.
My oldest son is the same age as those kids in Sandy Hook. He just finished first grade. My wife and I are the same age as those parents. And I am furious, furious, that in three years since Sandy Hook, three years of almost daily bloodshed in our cities, the Republican Congress has done absolutely nothing to prevent the next massacre. It stokes inside me a sense of outrage I've never felt before. And that's what drove me to stand on the floor of the United States Senate for 15 hours to demand change.
And I'm here today because I want a president who shares that same sense of outrage. Outrage that the gun lobby fights to keep open glaring loopholes that 90 percent of Americans want closed. Outrage that a suspected terrorist can walk into a store and walk out with a military-style, semi-automatic rifle.
Hillary Clinton didn't have to make fighting gun violence a centerpiece of her campaign. I'm sure people told her it wasn't worth the political risk. But she held firm. She stood up to the NRA and pledged to take Washington back from the gun lobby. And Donald Trump? When he sees gun violence devastating our communities, he sees opportunity. Another opportunity to convince Americans that they should fear one another. Another opportunity to do the bidding of the gun lobby.
Ninety percent of Americans want our background check system strengthened and expanded to cover more gun sales, so that dangerous weapons don't fall into the wrong hands. But, Trump says that in his first hour in the Oval Office, he would roll back safeguards we already have. And even more sinister, Trump said that by the end of his first day in office, he'll mandate that every school in America allow guns in their classrooms. Think about that for a moment, of all the things that Donald Trump could have promised to do on his first day in office, he chose weakening background checks and putting guns in elementary schools.
This is a fate we cannot accept. And my friends, there is no reason to feel helpless about the horrifying trajectory of cascading massacres. We can change this. Smart gun policy, like background checks, can change this.
I stood on the Senate floor for 15 hours because I had had enough. Enough of children dying in classrooms. Enough of nightly bloodshed on our city streets. Enough of our police officers being outgunned, ambushed, and cut down in the line of duty. Enough. It's time to take Washington back from the gun lobby. And I know just how to do it.
Start by texting the word LAWS to 47246. Learn about the dangerous loopholes in our gun laws and turn yourself into an activist. Then, elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, a leader who has the empathy, and the guts, to declare with every fiber of her being that we have had enough.