Flashing a photo of her slain son, Noah, lighting a Hanukkah candle, Veronique Pozner made a dramatic plea for stricter gun control laws at a packed hearing Monday in Connecticut’s state capital.
Joined by other relatives of those killed in the Newtown school rampage, Pozner called for a complete ban of all assault weapons and mandatory registration of all firearms.
“What happened in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012 destroyed Noah’s life and the lives of so many others,” Pozner told the panel. “We must change for the better to prevent the likelihood of a tragedy of this magnitude from ever shattering the lives of innocence and their families ever again.”
Read the full transcript of Veronique Pozner’s moving statement.
The heartbroken mother said the photo was taken the night before Noah Pozner was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty-seven others were also slain by crazed gunman Adam Lanza, who later turned the gun on himself.
“He looked so innocent and full of wonder,” Veronique Pozner said. “He was cheated of his full potential. I can now only dream of the man he would have become.”
Veronique Pozner had already made her support for gun control clear in interviews, although she prefaced one early comment by saying she did not have all the answers and insisted: “I am no Golda Meir.” The Monday hearing marked the first time she has spoken in a public meeting on the controversial topic, which has become a lightning rod for debate in Connecticut and nationwide.
President Obama, who consoled Veronique Pozner and other parents at a memorial service after the shootings, has proposed a raft of new gun control measures. But the fate of a new assault weapons ban and other measures remains unclear as gun rights advocates, backed by the powerful National Rifle Association, push back hard.
Pozner spoke emotionally about her loss, which she described as an example of the harm that unfettered access to guns can do to innocent victims like Noah.
“Noah was our 6-year-old force of nature,” Veronique recalled. “He will never get to attend middle school or high school, kiss a girl, attend college, pick a career path, fall in love, marry, have children or travel the world.”