“It takes about five 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.”
That’s how Christine Leinonen, the mother of an Orlando Pulse shooting victim, began her speech at the Democratic National Convention today. In a heartbreaking speech against gun violence, Leinonen spoke of her only son’s long fight for gay rights and how his grandparents had met in a Japanese internment camp. “It was in his DNA that love always trumps hate,” she said, as two survivors of the Pulse shooting stood beside her.
Leinonen, a former Michigan state trooper, recalled how when she went into labor with Christopher, the hospital put her off-duty gun away in a locker. “I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born, she said. “But where was that common sense the day he died?”
“I never want you to ask that question about your child.”
Watch the full speech below.