Democrats Live Highlights: Keith Ellison Talks with Gun Violence Survivors and Gun Safety Advocates

Yesterday, Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Keith Ellison hosted Democrats Live with guests Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, and Sarah Clements, the daughter of a second grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. During the live show, the participants discussed gun violence prevention, common-sense gun safety laws, and how we can effect change in our communities.


Here are a few excerpts from yesterday’s show:



Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting



“This is not the first time we’ve seen another horrible tragedy unfold on television. It brings the same sense of outrage that these things are still happening and yet we’ve done nothing of substance as a country. And we have to do that.”


“This is a complex issue that requires multi-faceted approach with a variety, a network of strong laws and policies– that is going to take time. This is a marathon and not a sprint, but we need to take that outrage and funnel it towards the grassroots activism that needs to happen in order to get different people in seats, to get the votes we need to get the policies, we deserve.”


“We know though through research and through talking to members of law enforcement that the single most effective policy that we can push on a national level is to close the background check loophole and require background checks on all gun sales that happen in this country.”



Sarah Clements, daughter of a second grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary



“I think right now we need to focus on, from an organizing perspective, making sure that these students in high schools and in colleges have the tools and resources and connections that they need to make a difference in their communities.”


Students shouldn’t have to walk into school wondering if today is the day that they’ll be next, or where they are going to hide if a shooter comes into their classroom, which I can tell you is something that countless students around the country that I talk to think about every single day.”


“Teachers shouldn’t have to walk into their place of work and wonder if today they are going to have to be a human shield and have to be called a hero and that their name be known everywhere because a shooter came to their school today.”



DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison



“Mass shootings are horrendous. They make the news as they should. But so much of gun murder and gun death happen one-on-one in the streets of our town. Happen in our homes with domestic violence. Happen with people who commit suicide.”


“This is not a black issue. It’s not a white issue. It’s not a suburban issue. It’s not an urban issue. It is all of our issue. And we have to do something about it. And we have to do something about it now.”