Christine Leinonen, the mother of Orlando shooting victim Christopher Leinonen, offered a powerful speech at the Democratic Convention about her son’s life and the need for common sense gun laws.
We’ve transcribed her speech:
It takes about 5 minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times.
I know this because last month my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered at a club in Orlando. Christopher was my only child, as I used to tell him, you can’t do better than perfect.
He had so many friends, two of whom are here tonight representing hundreds and hundreds more. All his life he brought people together. In high school, he won the Ann Frank Humanitarian Award for starting the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Christopher’s paternal grandparents met and fell in love in a Japanese internment camp, so it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate.
Christopher was a big Hillary supporter. That’s why I’m here. So that I can tell you about the day he was born. At the time I was a Michigan state trooper. When I went into labor the hospital put my off-duty gun in a safe. I didn’t argue. I know common sense gun policies save lives. The weapon that murdered my son fires 30 rounds in one minute. An Orlando city commissioner pointed out the terrible map. One minute for a gun to fire so many shots. Five minutes for a bell to honor so many lives. I’m glad common sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born, but where was that common sense the day he died?
I never want you to ask that question about your child. That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.