Connecticut leaders remember Sandy Hook and reflect on changes
The world watched the horror of Sandy Hook unfold on television, but Connecticut's political leaders were actually there. Ten years later, three key players said the shooting changed the national conversation on gun violence but that far more needs to be done.
As the news from Newtown got worse throughout the day, then-Gov. Dannel Malloy confirmed the horrific details to the world.
"Evil visited this community," Malloy told reporters hours after the shooting. "Earlier today, a number of our citizens – beautiful children -- had their life taken away from them."
Malloy personally notified the victims' families inside a small firehouse. Even today, the memory still haunts him.
"Hoping against hope that survivors still existed, and ultimately, coming to the conclusion that there were no additional survivors," he told News 12 Connecticut's "Power and Politics."
That day, President Barack Obama expressed the nation's grief. Days later, he visited Newtown.
"As a country, we have been through this too many times," Obama said.
On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Sandy Hook was a turning point – led by the victims' families.
"They have helped to form a movement," he said on the Senate floor. "They've been joined by tens of thousands of others in a movement to change the law."
In 2012, then-Rep. Chris Murphy had just been elected to the U.S. Senate. This summer, following an eerily similar shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Murphy negotiated the first major gun law in a generation. It includes enhanced background checks for gun buyers younger than 21, closes the "Boyfriend Loophole" allowing some domestic abusers to keep their weapons and offers states incentives to pass "Red Flag Laws."
"We were shown evidence that this law we passed collectively is already saving lives," Murphy said Wednesday.
But the killings keep happening. Malloy said he's not surprised.
"I predicted that this was going to come to every state, and over time to many more communities," he said.
All three of these leaders said the focus isn't just on preventing another Sandy Hook, but also the gun violence plaguing our cities every day.