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Emotional testimony about gun violence delivered to House Democrats

Photos by Alex Wong / Getty Images

Emily Nottingham, center, mother of Gabe Zimmerman, a staff member to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' who was killed during the Tucson, Ariz. shootings receives a standing ovation, Jan. 16, 2013, during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Roll Call reported on Wednesday:

Lori Haas, left to right, whose daughter was shot and survived at the Virginia Tech shooting, Founder of ProtestEasyGuns.Com Abigail Spangler, and President of Million Mom March Martina Leinz hold hands as they listen to testimony of Superintendent of schools of Newtown, Connecticut, Janet Robinson about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

House Democratic leaders convened a hearing Wednesday showcasing the emotional scars left by gun violence on colleagues and countrymen in recent years, an event designed to dovetail with President Barack Obama’s decision to pursue government action on the issue.

The nearly two-hour-long session in the Rayburn House Office Building did not present specific policy demands as much as it tried to make the case for why such measures are necessary. The witnesses included Newtown, Conn., Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson; Emily Nottingham, the mother of Gabe Zimmerman, a staffer for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was killed in the 2011 Tucson, Ariz., shootings; Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Scott Knight, former chairman of the International Chiefs of Police’s Firearms Committee.

Nottingham did not mince words. “I am sad beyond words at the deaths and injuries in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown and too many other places, but I am also angry that we — you and I — have made it so easy for this to happen,” she said. “We have allowed ourselves to overemphasize gun rights to the detriment of other rights, including the most important, the right to be alive.”

Newtown School Superintendent, Dr. Janet Robinson, gave emotional testimony to House Democrats at a hearing on gun violence.

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